SALAMANCA — A well-known face at CCSE Federal Credit Union in Salamanca and a former Ward 1 council representative in the city, Laurie Hunt is now the new legislator for District 5 in the Cattaraugus County Legislature.

“First I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for the support they’ve given me,” Hunt said in a recent interview with the Press. “I am humbled and honored to have been chosen to represent our District 5 and all of our residents of Cattaraugus County.”

In November, Hunt defeated two-term incumbent Susan Labuhn, 1,044 votes to 912.

“I was excited to see the election results on the evening of Nov. 5,” she recalled. “It was difficult to fall asleep with the anticipation building throughout the evening. It was an experience I will never forget. The voters have spoken.”

Since then, Hunt said the response from the community has been amazing.

“The folks that had called, sent flowers, messages and came to me personally to congratulate me is far beyond what I ever expected,” she said. “I am very thankful for such great support.”

Hunt also gave a special thank you to her family for their support, including her mom, Diana, her granddaughter, Brynlee, and daughter, Lauren, for all their help.

“I couldn’t do it without you,” she said. “They had gone all over District 5 with me to hang signs and get the word out I was running for county legislator. They were a great team for me!”

On Jan. 8, Hunt and the rest of the Legislature took their oaths of office in Little Valley and immediately got to work.

Over the next four years, Hunt said she has some personal items in mind that she’s liked to get accomplished, including bringing high-speed internet to more rural areas in the county, adjusting some speed limit issues and working on getting many of the county’s roads into the 21st century.

“It is unsafe to travel on these road conditions,” she added. “It is time to make the repairs that are much needed. It’s been far too long.”

When the Legislature reorganized last week, 16 of the 17 county seats were filled by Republicans after a near-total sweep in the November election. The one exception was Hunt’s other District 5 representative, David Koch, the lone Democrat who will serve as minority leader.

However, that overwhelming Republican majority doesn’t have Hunt discouraged.

“I personally feel it will not affect getting what we want accomplished,” she explained. “We can all work together.”

As a prior Salamanca council member representing Ward 1, Hunt said she realizes those on the Legislature will have their differences but will have to work together for solutions.

“We are in this for the good of our communities, and remember who got you into these positions,” she added. “Thank you all for your confidence in me. I will personally try to make a difference.”

(Contact managing editor Kellen Quigley at kquigleysp@gmail.com)