Niagara Gazette


November 8, 2011

Cliffe wins easily in Wheatfield; council race a tight one

WHEATFIELD — On primary night, Wheatfield Supervisor Robert Cliffe said his margin of victory over former Supervisor Tim Demler wasn’t large enough. He said he wasn’t “as happy as (he’d) like to be.”

Tuesday night, with fellow Republican Demler’s only challenge as a write-in candidate, Cliffe trounced the Democrat in the general election race, Donald Wallace. With 100 percent of the election districts reporting, Cliffe had 1,828 or 65.4 percent of the vote to Wallace’s 964 or 34.6 percent of the vote.

Cliffe seemed happy with the result.

“I’m very gratified,” Cliffe said. “I’m very happy the Town of Wheatfield supports me.”

The election results are still unofficial and Cliffe admitted there may be “hundreds and hundreds” of absentee ballots still to count. He also said he thought that Demler may have garnered as many as 800 write-in votes.

The absentee ballots may prove critical in Town Council races.

Incumbent Republican Councilmen Larry Helwig and Gil Doucet hold leads for the two available seats over Democrats Barbara Lange and Robert Pino. However, Doucet has just a 37 vote lead over Lange.

“I believe all our candidates will end up (as winners),” Cliffe said.

Wallace, a founding member of Wheatfield United, ran a weak campaign against Cliffe. He told the Gazette before the election, he was more concerned about Demler than beating Cliffe.

“The truth is I’m not sure I could run this town better than Bob Cliffe, but I know anybody would be better than Tim Demler,” Wallace said. “We need to continue to restore integrity to the supervisor position.”

Cliffe had promised, in his first term, to do a better job with town’s finances than his predecessor. He said that work will now continue.

“I think people understood the financial problems the town had,” Cliffe said, “and we addressed them and the changes (we made) were successful. Now we can look at where we move forward.”

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