Tonawanda News — While the presidency was called in favor of Obama a short time later, 11:14 p.m. — two hours after New York state went to the Democrat — Republicans by and large saw reason to be optimistic regarding several local races including that of Erie County comptroller, which was too close to call Tuesday night. Republican Stefan Mychajliw was neck and neck with incumbent Democrat David Shenk late Tuesday.
In the 60th state Senate, Mark Grisanti handily won a three-way race with 50 percent of the vote. Grisanti broke with party rank and file in helping legalize gay marriage in the state, causing some to question his re-electibility.
Longtime State Sen. George Maziarz, R-Newfane, held a substantial lead late Tuesday against Democratic Challenger Amy Hope Witryol, and the race for the 27th Congressional District was called by The Associated Press for Republican Chris Collins over incumbent Rep. Kathy Hochul — the GOP's biggest prize locally on the evening.
In North Tonawanda, where Democrats hold a decisive edge in enrollment numbers, most of those interviewed on Tuesday at polling places including City Hall said they had used their votes for President Obama.
John Lukasik, the former city alderman and two-time mayoral candidate, said he chose Obama as his candidate, betting that the president would be best suited to fix the the country's dire economic situation after a near-depression in 2009.
"We've been coming out of the recession slowly an we've gained some momentum," he said.
Brian Soos, who left the polling station Tuesday, said he's concluded that Obama's viewpoints on Medicare and the role of government aligned with his own political philosophy.
"And basically, I just don't like Romney," he said.
And Juanita Joyce also said she favored the president, citing the end of the war in Iraq, treatment of veterans and the death of Osama Bin Laden, as just a few of her reasons to throw her vote to Obama in addition to his economic viewpoints.