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Poloncarz Victorious in Democratic Primary for Erie County Comptroller

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – It appears that endorsed Democrat Mark Poloncarz has won the Democratic primary for Erie County Comptroller. Even though some paper ballots must still be counted, Poloncarz has a sizeable lead over opponents Robert Whelan and Richard Pawarski.

Mark Poloncarz arrived at his campaign headquarters in Cheektowaga Tuesday night to the cheers of supporters. He says his message of fiscal independence resonated with voters.

But his main opponent, former city comptroller and former State Supreme Court Justice Robert Whelan refused to concede defeat. He said he had strong support in two towns that used paper ballots -- Hamburg and West Seneca. Elections officials won't start counting those ballots until Monday. Whelan said he was disappointed by Poloncarz's strategy of linking him to embattled County Executive Joel Giambra.

Poloncarz said he was concerned about Whelan's strong name recognition. This is his first run for elective office. And if Tuesday night's results hold, Poloncarz will come out a winner his first time out.

"It's a nice feeling," Poloncarz said. "I entered the race with the intention of winning it. If you're running and expect to lose, why run in the first place."

Poloncarz will now face Orchard Park real estate executive John Canavan, the Republican candidate for county comptroller, who is also making his first run for elective office.