Niagara Gazette

November 5, 2013

Cliffe wins third term as supervisor in Wheatfield

by Rick Pfeiffer
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — Wheatfield voters decided not make a change at the top of the town Tuesday night.

With 13 of 14 election districts reporting, incumbent Supervisor Robert Cliffe held a commanding 1,884 to 1,150 lead over challenger Thomas Larson. Cliffe claimed victory and Larson conceded.

"I am pleased and very happy the voters of Wheatfield have selected me to be their supervisor for the next two years," Cliffe said. 

The endorsed Republican, Independent, Conservative and Working Families party candidate, Cliffe, who was seeking his third term, said he felt confident that he'd be returned to office.

"I was certainly confident of winning, I anticipated winning, but you can't be over confident," he said. "I ran a typical Cliffe race, talking about what I've done and we're going."

Larson, an enrolled Republican, who was tapped to run on the Democratic party line by county leaders, said his loss might have been the result of disaffected town Democrats.

"It looks like there may be some Democrats who decided (I'm) not an enrolled Democrat and (they're) not going to vote for (me)," Larson said. "I guess they're not interested in change."

Larson ran a campaign that criticized Cliffe for creating budget surpluses, while cutting back services to town residents. But after his re-election, Cliffe said voters should not expect dramatic changes in town government over the next two years.

"I don't see a great deal of change in the next two years," Cliffe told the Gazette. "We're getting started with the greenway trail and some park improvements."

Cliffe also said he'll continue to focus on town finances.

"That is the prime directive," he said. "The people of Wheatfield demand we keep taxes low, while providing the services they need."

In the race for two town council seats, Republican newcomer Randy Retzlaff and incumbent Art Gerbec led Democratic challengers Shirley Joy and Judy Blake. However, a malfunctioning voting machine in one district left those races too close to call.