Niagara Gazette —
It was a close call Tuesday but voters in the Village of Lewiston ultimately decided what it had from its mayor was good enough for another four years.
Mayor Terry Collesano earned his second term as the village’s chief executive after narrowly defeating one of his pair of challengers, business owner Jamie Symmonds. Community advocate Jacqueline Lampman finished third in the race.
In unofficial results, Collesano collected 255 total votes, compared to Symmonds’s 232. Lampman came in a distant third place, securing 53.
“I’m encouraged,” Collesano said. “I think it shows people still have confidence in what we’ve done and still have confidence in me. I’m going to continue what we’ve been doing all these years in the village, including providing transparency (and) an open government.”
A total of 541 votes were cast in the election this year, which featured the three-way race for mayor. The figure includes 12 absentee ballots cast before Tuesday.
Campaigns for the three candidates wore on for about two months, with a lot of ups and downs for each thrown in the mix. From medical issues to a caucus for the Democratic line being ruled illegal, there was no shortage of drama in the village of roughly 2,700 people.
In particular, the ruling on the Democratic caucus in May forced Symmonds, the party’s choice, to form her own group and collect signatures to get on Tuesday’s ballot, under the Voice for the Village Party. Lampman, too, formed her own party to run, which she planned to do with or without the ruling, calling hers the Lewiston Village Party.
From Symmonds’s perspective, the grind down the stretch wasn’t rewarded with victory, but she said it isn’t going to keep her from participating in the community. Still, the owner of Center Street clothing boutique Angel to Apple said the 23-vote difference, though small, was hard to swallow.
“It’s been tough,” she said. “It’s been a long two months. It’s disappointing, because I really wanted to make Lewiston a better place. It’s just hitting me right now. I was just focused on the moment.
“I’m going to stay involved in the community. I’m not going to go away, of course.”
In addition to the mayoral race, three trustee positions on the village board were up for grabs, though there was no competition to find the placeholders. Current trustees Daniel Gibson, appointed in January to fill the vacancy left by Lewiston town Supervisor Dennis Brochey, received 288 votes to remain in power, while Victor Eydt (284) and Bruce Sutherland (159) also will return to their board positions.
Eydt and Sutherland will hold four-year terms, as will Collesano. Gibson’s term expires in two years, at which time he’ll need to run again to remain a trustee.
Contact reporter Timothy Chipp at 282-2311, ext. 2245