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Local Republican candidates have easy road to re-election

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 October 2016 at 11:47 am

MURRAY – It hasn’t been a contentious campaign season for local Republican candidates. Most are unopposed and enjoy solid support from the Republican Party.

Joe Cardone is seeking another four-year term as district attorney. He has served in the role since 1992, and only once has faced an Election Day challenge (back in 1996).

Cardone, a Medina resident, said it is an honor to serve as the county’s top prosecutor. He prosecutes all major felony crimes in the county, and handles violations of probationary hearings, preliminary hearings, grand jury, motion terms, trial of felony cases, justice court responsibilities and oversees the Orleans County Major Felony Crime Task Force.

Cardone was praised during the Republican Rally.

Scott Schmidt

Scott Schmidt

“He is the consummate professional,” said Scott Schmidt, the county’s chief coroner. “He has high ethical standards and he’s taking bad guys off the streets at a record pace.”

Schmidt is one of three Republicans running for coroner on Nov. 8. Katy Owczarczak has been endorsed by the Democrats. She is the only Democrat running for a town or county position in the county on Nov. 8.

Schmidt has served as county coroner for 26 years. A local funeral director, Schmidt is the county’s chief coroner and serves as president of the NYS Association of Coroners and Medical Examiners. He also has served 12 years as a training officer for the National Disaster Medical System’s Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team (DMORT). He was with DMORT in New York City after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

The other Republican coroner candidates include incumbents Charlie Smith and Rocky Sidari. Smith works as a nurse and is a Ridgeway firefighter. Sidari is a past Albion fire chief. He works as a general mechanic at the Orleans Correctional Facility in Albion.

Hawley seeks re-election; Lockport attorney will represent district that includes Shelby

Orleans County is represented by two members of the State Assembly. Jane Corwin currently is the representative for 144th District, which includes the Town of Shelby and portions of Erie and Niagara counties. Corwin isn’t seeking re-election. Michael Norris of Lockport, an attorney and former Niagara County Republican Party chairman, is unopposed for assemblyman.

Michael Norris

Michael Norris

Norris, who has a cottage in the Town of Yates, said he will push to support small businesses, farms and veterans. During the Republican rally, he praised volunteer firefighters, and the noted that 64 fire companies, including volunteers from Orleans County, responded to put out a massive fire in Lockport in August.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley, owner of an insurance company in Batavia, has represented the 139th District since 2006. The district includes nine of the 10 towns in Orleans, all of Genesee and a portion of Monroe counties.

Hawley said he will continue to push for a bill that would separate upstate from New York City, and “full repeal of the SAFE Act,” which Hawley said is “unconstitutional.”

Hawley noted he has strong endorsements from the NRA, Unshackle Upstate and has been named a “Friend of Farm Bureau.” He is unopposed on Election day.

State Sen. Rob Ortt also is unopposed. He is finishing his first two-year term as state senator after succeeding George Maziarz, who retired. Ortt, a former North Tonawanda mayor, served in Afghanistan with the Army National Guard. He was unable to attend the GOP rally on Thursday because he was in New York City with the Senate Majority Conference. Ortt was praised for directing state resources to support local police, museums, and libraries. He also is a frequent presence in Orleans.

The rally included candidates for State Supreme Court, including Mary Slisz and Dan Furlong. Slisz noted her uncle, Chuck Slisz, served as a priest for Catholic churches in Hulberton, Holley and Kendall.

Steve Hawley

Steve Hawley

The Republican candidates for town positions are all unopposed.

They include:

  • Albion – Arnold R. Allen Jr. for one-year term on Town Board;
  • Carlton – Karen Narburgh for one-year term as town clerk;
  • Gaines – Sharon Harding for one-year term as town clerk;
  • Murray – Theodore Spada Jr. for four-year term as town justice.

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