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WBFO coverage of the 2011 elections.

Mark Poloncarz defeats Chris Collins

WBFO News photo by Ashley Hassett
Mark Poloncarz wins Erie County Executive race

Democrat Mark Poloncarz has clinched a victory against incumbent Republican Chris Collins.  Poloncarz will now become the next county executive.  

Erie County Executive Chris Collins delivered his concession speech from Republican Headquarters at the Rich Atrium Tuesday night. 

"The public has spoken. I don't know quite what to make of that," said Collins.

"Things didn't work out tonight.  Sometimes life isn't fair," state Collins.  

But Collins has pledged a "smooth transition".   

"When you lose an election you move on...we will be moving on" said Collins.

But Collins told supporters "one thing I won't be doing is leaving Western New York."

Collins served the last four years

"We have changed Erie County," said Collins.

Poloncarz delivered his acceptance speech before big crowd of supporters gathered at the Adam's Mark in downtown Buffalo late Tuesday night.

Poloncarz thanked all his campaign workers as well as Erie County Democratic Party chairman Len Lenihan.
"You believed in me when no one else did," said Poloncarz.  He also thanked Mayor Byron Brown for his support.   

Poloncarz also thanked his friends in organized labor for pushing his campaign message forward to the voters.
"We will never be ashamed of our backgrounds", said Poloncarz.  

Poloncarz also acknowledge Chris Collins which drew from some jeers from the crowd.
"Thank you for your service to the people of Erie county...This is not an easy position in running for office...I wish you well going forward," said Poloncarz.

Poloncarz said he looks forward to a smooth transition over the next few months.