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Democrats Lose Three Seats in Erie County Legislature

By Joyce Kryszak

Buffalo, NY – Erie County Democrats saw their super majority in the County Legislature slip away Tuesday night as Republicans doubled their numbers.

Incumbent Democrat Michele Iannello stepped into party headquarters soon after returns showed there was no coming back. She took the podium to thank supporters and to say she's disappointed not to serving them for a third term. Legislature Chairwoman Lynn Marinelli easily won re-election. And she says Democrats are still in control.

But the Republican victories also mean the County Executive's voice will be heard more loudly in the Legislature. The power balance is now nine to six. Majority Leader Maria Whyte says the county executive used strategy and lots of money to topple the Democrats' super majority. She says, obviously, that's an important factor.

Whyte and others say how well they all work together will be crucial as lawmakers begin to tackle a deficit that's projected to soar over one hundred million within the next few years.