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Republicans take control of Erie County Legislature

Photo by Mark Scott

For the first time in 35 years, the Republicans will have outright control of the Erie County Legislature.  It was one of several big victories for the local GOP in Tuesday's elections. 

A few years ago, the Republicans had quasi-control by working with some renegade Democrats.  But starting January 1st, they'll have total control.  And they'll be butting heads with a Democratic County Executive in Mark Poloncarz.  Tuesday night, Langworthy put Poloncarz on notice.

"This is a referendum on Mark Poloncarz's first term," Langworthy said.  "People said they want different leadership in the Erie County Legislature to hold him accountable."

It's likely Orchard Park Republican John Mills will become the new Legislature chair, succeeding Democrat Betty Jean Grant.  She ran unopposed in her Buffalo district to win re-election Tuesday.  Grant said she's prepared to accept the new reality.

"We have to adjust to it," Grant said.  "We have to do the people's business."

Credit Photo by Mark Scott
Unsuccessful 3rd District Candidate Jennifer Stergion (center) joined by friends at Republican headquarters.

Legislator Ed Rath of Williamsville said job one for the new GOP majority will be reforming the Legislature.

"We believe there's an opportunity for us to eliminate some (Legislature) jobs to make it run more efficiently," Rath said.

Republican newcomer Ted Morton was dubbed "the majority maker."  It was his victory in District 8, an open seat being vacated by a Democrat, that gave the Republicans the majority.