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Brown Wins Mayor's Race, Mohan Upsets Grelick for Amherst Town Supervisor

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – State Senator Byron Brown was elected Tuesday as Buffalo's first African-American mayor. Brown, a Democrat, defeated Republican Kevin Helfer 64 percent to 27 percent.

Brown credited his win to an "inclusive, strong, tight campaign."

"This is not just a victory for me, it's a victory for all of us, for our city, for our future," he said.

"No excuses," Helfer said. "We ran as hard as we could ... The voters chose Senator Brown, and I think he'll make a great mayor."

Democrat Mark Poloncarz won the race for Erie County Comptroller, defeating Republican John Canavan 56 percent to 37 percent.

"The one thing I said when I announced my candidacy was that isn't it time that we sent an independent professional into the office of comptroller to lead during difficult times," Poloncarz said. "Guess what? The voters of Erie County responded overwhelmingly yes. It's about time that we do that."

Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard, who was appointed to succeed Patrick Gallivan earlier this year, won a full term Tuesday, defeating Democrat Charles Fieramusca 52 percent to 48 percent.

The Democrats now have an overwhelming majority in the Erie County Legislature. They gained four seats Tuesday and will hold a 12 to 3 majority over Republicans when the new Legislature is seated in January. There will be nine new legislators.

Lancaster Republican Denise Marshall, who has consistently voted against any of the tax increases that were proposed in the past year, was defeated by Democrat Kathy Konst.

Another incumbent, Timothy Wroblewski -- running on the Independence and Conservative lines -- lost his re-election bid to Democrat Cynthia Locklear. She had defeated Wroblewski in September's Democratic primary.

Seven other legislators declined to seek re-election.

In Amherst, Republican Satish Mohan scored the evening's biggest upset, defeating Democratic Town Supervisor Susan Grelick 51 percent to 40 percent.

Mohan spent heavily on the race, buying expensive full-page ads in the "Buffalo News."

"I might have spent between $80,000 and $100,000, all from my home equity," Mohan said. "We have some friends who gave us money. Maybe I raised $20,000 plus from campaign fundraisers."

In Orchard Park, former local television news reporter Mary Travers Murphy, a Democrat, defeated Republican Stanley Jemiolo for Town Supervisor by a margin of 55 percent to 45 percent.