Tonawanda News — Jeff Sheridan, executive director of the Erie County Democratic Committee, insisted at the time that the paperwork for Conrad and several other endorsed Democratic candidates was filed on time, but due to an oversight by a post office employee, the ballots were dated a day late. Hardwick and Rath lost all appeals in the case.
Hardwick, reached briefly amid the celebration, pledged Republicans would work in cooperation with Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, a Democrat.
“I think we will work well with the county executive,” Hardwick said. “I don’t think the county executive has anything to fear from us. We’re going to work together on sharing county government. We’re going to make him a better executive.”
Conrad admitted in defeat Tuesday that he’d been fighting an uphill battle going against a well known and liked lawmaker in Hardwick.
Obviously it’s just name recognition,” Conrad said. “Coming, starting in June we worked incredibly hard to get my name out there. Let’s be honest, he’s known. That’s really hard to compete with as a first-time candidate.
“We worked incredibly hard. The people I worked with, it was just tremendous. We learned a lot. We ran a clean campaign and I’m very proud of the effort. Taking on someone like Kevin Hardwick is a long shot to begin with.”
The GOP will hold a one-vote majority in the Legislature, thanks mainly to a flipped seat in Lancaster and Alden, where Republican Ted Morton defeated Democrat Wynnie Fisher.
Democrats held a tightly contested seat in Amherst with Thomas Loughran defeating a spirited challenge from town Highway Superintendent Robert N. Anderson.