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Primary elections in Western New York: a rundown

Close up of voting signs pointing toward the polling location on a rainy day.
Jacqueline Nix/Getty Images/iStockphoto
Close up of voting signs pointing toward the polling location on a rainy day.

June 15 marks the start of early voting in New York State’s primary elections, but there are only a few primary races for public office happening in the Western New York region.

Primary elections happen when available elected positions are contested by members of the same political party. Whoever wins the primary advances to the general elections in November where voters in New York will see candidates for president, the senate, congress, state senate and state assembly on their ballot, among other elected offices depending on where they live.

Primary Election Day in New York State is Tuesday, June 25. Early voting runs from Saturday, June 15 to Sunday, June 23. Voters must be registered with the relevant political party to participate.

To find out if there is a primary race in your area and to check whether you are eligible to vote, contact your county’s board of elections or visit their website.

U.S. Congress

There’s just one congressional primary race in the region and it’s a rematch for Republicans Claudia Tenney and Mario Fratto, with both vying to be the party’s candidate for New York’s 24th Congressional District.

Incumbent Tenney has represented NY-24 since January 2023 and previously served as Representative for New York’s 22nd Congressional District before redistricting took place as a result of the 2020 U.S. Census.

It’s not the first time Fratto has challenged Tenney in a Republican primary – in the 2022 midterms he ran for the same seat, but Tenney saw him off, taking more than a 53% share of the vote.

Bad blood between the pair is evidenced by their mailers with each criticizing the other, but the two candidates are campaigning on some shared subjects: a mailer from the Tenney campaign shows that this time around she is running on immigration and border security issues as well as her endorsement from former President Donald Trump. In a campaign video, Fratto also says he will fight to secure borders, and touts term limits and “traditional values” as other campaign issues.

The district is vast, spanning from Youngstown in Niagara County, skirting Rochester and then following the shores of Lake Ontario all the way to Watertown and Thousand Islands. In Western New York, NY-24 encompasses parts of Niagara County as well as Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties.

No Primaries for State Senate

State senate primaries in Western New York? Tumbleweed.

But there will be more action in the general elections in November.

State Assembly

There’s one primary in the lower house relevant to the region, and it’s a chance for registered Republicans in the Assembly’s 147th District to have a say.

The candidates are incumbent David DiPietro and political newcomer Mitch Martin. DiPietro has represented the district since 2013. His most recent sponsored legislation includes a bill to amend conservation law to allow hunting big and small game by crossbow in Wyoming County, and a bill that requires healthcare providers to test for a fetal heartbeat before performing an abortion. Both bills are making their way through the Assembly’s pipelines and sitting in their appropriate committees for consideration.

Martin is a chief with the Erie County Sheriff’s Office and has worked in law enforcement for 11 years according to his campaign website. There, he also lists his priorities including his support for law enforcement and family farms among other issues.

The Assembly’s 147th District spans parts of southern Erie County and most of Wyoming County.


Democratic, Republican and Conservative Party Committee seats

Many voters across the region will find candidates for party committee seats on the ballot in this year’s primary elections. These candidates will be competing for a say in the inner workings of their respective political parties – the winners will help decide which candidates their party should endorse for public office and who leads their committee. Since committee races are elections within the party, candidates only appear on the primary ballot - whoever wins the primary wins the spot.


WNY Primary Races by County

All information below comes from the respective county’s board of elections website. For up-to-date information and sample ballots, contact your county board of elections.

Allegany County

Republican Primary. Wirt Town Councilmember: Alice J. Dunbar Vs. Rob Mannix

County Republican Committee seats in the Town of Hume.

County Democrat Committee seats in the Town of Belfast.

Cattaraugus County

In the race for Farmersville Town Justice, the same two candidates are competing in the Republican, Conservative, Democratic and Working Families Party primaries: Melanie Louise Brown Vs. Jennifer S. Holmes-Karcher.

Republican Primary. Farmersville Councilmember: Diane M. Nichols Vs. Harold B. McCown.

Democratic Primary. City of Salamanca Alderman for the 5th Ward: Kenneth D. Nary Vs. Paul L. Myers.

Chautauqua County

Conservative Party Primary. County Family Court Judge: Sally A. Jaroszynski Vs. Peter R. Johnson.

Erie County

Republican Primary. Member of Assembly – 147th District: David J DiPietro Vs. Mitch Martin

Republican Primary and Conservative Primary. Collins Town Justice: Colleen A. Kinnaird Vs. Walter C. Cain.

Republican Primary. North Collins Town Justice: Wayne E. Luther Vs. William Ross Moritz.

Various Republican, Conservative and Democratic Committee seats.

Genesee County

Republican Primary. New York 24th Congressional District: Claudia Tenney Vs. Mario Fratto.

Republican Primary. Byron Town Councilperson: Ben Raccuia Vs. Martin R. Dilcher.

Niagara County

Republican Primary. New York 24th Congressional District. Claudia Tenney Vs. Mario Fratto.

Republican Primary. Town of Hartland Clerk/Tax Collector: Brandy R. Bedford Vs. Cailin E Clark.

Various Republican Committee seats.

Orleans County

Republican Primary. New York 24th Congressional District: Claudia Tenney Vs. Mario Fratto.

Republican Primary. County District Attorney: Susan M. Howard Vs. John S. Sansone.

Republican Primary. County Coroner: Kevin P. Dann, Julie A. Woodworth, Rocco L. Sidari, Scott M. Schmidt.

Republican Primary. Carlton Town Councilmember: John L. Olles Vs. Jeffery A. Gifaldi.

County Republican Committee seats in Yates and Shelby.

Wyoming County

Republican Primary. New York 24th Congressional District: Claudia Tenney Vs. Mario Fratto.

Republican Primary. Member of Assembly – 147th District: David J DiPietro Vs. Mitch Martin.

WBFO's Grant Ashley contributed to this report.

Holly Kirkpatrick is a journalist whose work includes investigations, data journalism, and feature stories that hold those in power accountable. She joined WBFO in December 2022.