Tonawanda News — Voters across the nation descended upon polling places Tuesday as various political campaigns ramped up last-minute efforts to get out the vote.
In Erie and Niagara counties, Democratic and Republican committee members prepared for the evening's events, where politicians strolled in throughout the night for victory or concession speeches.
The Niagara County Republican Committee held its election night caucus at Lock 34 in Lockport, where Sen. George Maziarz was on hand.
County Republican Committee Chairman Michael Norris said requests continued to stream in for Romney-Ryan lawn signs, as they had in the final days leading up to the election.
"We've been receiving requests constantly. The momentum is very strong and we're very optimistic," Norris said.
That optimism early in the night would give way to a hard political reality as news reports displayed on televisions in a downtown Buffalo ballroom that served as the setting for area GOP leaders showed President Barack Obama had won the election.
In Erie County, the Democrats met at the Ellicott Square Building in downtown Buffalo, the mood in the evening was equally tenuous, giving way to reserved optimism as returns showed Obama with slim leads in many key swing states.
The mood at both election night gatherings was fairly subdued, with many races remaining too close to call until later in the evening.
"The mood is cautiously optimistic, nobody's breaking out the champaign or crying," North Tonawanda city councilman Rich Andres said from GOP headquarters. He and others spent time upstairs at the Avant, in a private gathering where party leaders watched returns.
Several party members tied to the Tonawandas made the trip to Buffalo Tuesday evening, including Andres, former congressional candidate and NT council member Brett Sommer and City of Tonawanda Mayor Ron Pilozzi's wife Christine Pilozzi.