Robert Restaino cruised to an easy election victory over three challengers in the race for mayor of Niagara Falls on Tuesday night.
With 37 out of 37 election districts reporting, Restaino, the endorsed Democratic candidate, had 4,431 votes or 49.59 percent of the 8,935 votes cast citywide.
The former city court judge and current Niagara Falls School Board president told a crowd of cheering supporters that they had delivered a resounding victory.
"I want you to know how important you were to the victory," a beaming Restaino told the crowd. "So many of you fought through the nonsense of the primary, the personal attacks. We may get to 50 percent in a four-person race and those of you who know this know that is no small task."
Republican candidate Glenn Choolokian tallied 2,269 ballots for 25.39 percent of the vote, while political newcomer Jeffrey Elder, running on his self-created Dynamic New Future Line pulled in 1,517 votes for 19.98 percent of the total.
Restaino's Democratic Party primary rival, Seth Piccirillo, who did not actively campaign in the general election, but remained the endorsed Working Families candidate, had 615 votes or 6.88 percent.
The mayor-elect said he was "relieved" by the election results.
"I feel relieved mostly, it's been a difficult election cycle," Restaino said. "I really believe the people saw through the pandering and the nonsense."
Elder said he felt his first attempt at politics was a learning experience.
"It wasn't bad. I learned a lot of things," Elder said. "I'm disappointed but we'll move on from here and we'll definitely look at all our options."
He said one of those options could be another run on the Dynamic New Future Line.
Choolokian could not immediately be reached for comment. He did not return messages left for him.
Restaino said he has already reached out to Mayor Paul Dyster to begin planning a transition. That will include reviewing the city's projected 2020 budget.
"I think it will probably take a little bit of time to sort through the needs the city has," Restaino said.