LITTLE VALLEY — It’s unofficially official: Republicans will control 16 of the 17 Cattaraugus County Legislature seats.
The county Board of Elections reported Thursday that in District 6 — the towns of Allegany and Carrollton — Republican challenger R. Donald Benson had received 11 more votes than Barbara J. Hastings, the Democratic incumbent.
That made for a Republican sweep of the district’s two seats, as challenger Robert Parker and Benson defeated Hastings and incumbent Democrat Vergilio “Dick” Giardini.
With the absentee count in District 6 included, the results are Parker, 1,021 votes; Benson, 973; Hastings, 962; and Giardini, 865.
On Tuesday, Republican Richard Smith outpolled Democrat Adam Jester in District 8 — the city of Olean — after absentees gave him a 28-vote lead. That led to another Republican sweep of a district:
The District 6 votes including absentees are: Kelly Andreano, R, 1,557; Frank Higgins, R, 1,461; Smith, 1,217; John Crawford, D, 1,181; Jester, 1,191; Gerard Lefeber, D, 915; Brian George, C, 285; and Libertarian Matt Patterson-Volz, 54. (Due to a reporting error, a previous story had indicated that Patterson-Volz received 285 votes.)
Seven of the eight legislative districts were won by Republicans. In District 5, Democratic incumbent David Koch and Republican challenger Laurie Hunt were declared winners.
That leaves Koch, who will be starting his ninth year as a legislator, the only Democrat elected to serve in Little Valley.
(Contact reporter Rick Miller at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter, @RMillerOTH)