The North Tonawanda Republican Committee released its slate of endorsements Monday evening, with several new faces vying for their first slots in city and county government.
Bill Patton, the committee chairman, said among them is Donna Braun, a North Tonawnada school board member, who will run for the open Second Ward council seat, and Robert Clark, well known for his involvement in local military affairs and for his role as president of the North Tonawanda History Museum's board of trustees. Clark is seeking an alderman-at-large position on the city council being vacated by the retiring Nancy Donovan. The announcement also serves as the campaign launch for both candidates.
Patton said the committee has also endorsed Rich Andres, the city council president who presently represents the Second Ward, but who dropped his re-election bid for city council last month to run for the Niagara County Legislature's Eight District, following the planned retirement of Peter E. Smolinski.
As was expected, the committee backed Mayor Rob Ortt, who is running for his second term, as well as incumbents City Attorney Shawn Nickerson, Third Ward Alderman Eric Zadzilka, and First Ward Alderman Russ Rizzo, an Independent who caucuses with Republicans.
Second District Coroner Joseph Mantione, and Legislative candidates, and incumbents, Kathryn L. Lance, for the Seventh District, and Paul B. Wojtaszek, for the Eight District, round out the endorsements.
The release of the GOP committee's endorsements comes before any of the city's Democratic Committee endorsements are released. Joshua Dubs, who last week declared his intention to oust Nickerson for the city attorney slot, is the lone Democrat to announce his candidacy. Democratic Committee Chairman Mark Houghton has not returned repeated calls for comment.
Democrats have been hit hard over the last two election cycles, with Republicans, or Republican-leaning candidates sweeping the ranks of city of government, as well as much of the county outside of Niagara Falls.
Contact reporter Michael Regan at 693-1000, ext. 4115.