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Small Talk

Nice try, Ralph: Outgoing West District representative Ralph Hernandez has had trouble filing clean nominating petitions in past efforts to run for office, so it was only a mild surprise a week and a half ago when a judge kicked him off the ballot for Tuesday’s Buffalo school board elections. Truly surprising, however, was how many write-in votes Hernandez managed to scare up. The results are still uncertified, but it seems likely that well over 400 voters wrote in his name rather than vote for the only guy on the ticket: James M. Sampson, CEO of Gateway Longview and chair of the city’s control board. who won with 554 votes. Many of those write-in voters used stamps that Hernandez supporters handed out at polling places. Sadly, many then forgot to fill in the bubble next to the line for write-ins, according to poll-watchers. Others left the stamps behind in the polling places when they had finished using them, where Hernandez’s supporters could not fetch them.

Good showing, Adrian: No one could conceive of an electoral universe in which teacher’s aide Adrian Harris would beat developer Carl Paladino in the race for the Park District seat on the Buffalo school board. Paladino is hugely famous and largely beloved in the South Buffalo, Lovejoy, and Fillmore neighborhoods that comprise the Park District; Harris is not. Still, Harris pulled 646 votes—more than Sampson managed in the West District and close to the 694 votes Theresa A. Harris-Tiggs received to win the East District seat.

Close one, Jay: Incumbent Jay McCarthy held on to the North District seat with 1,697 votes, or 47 percent; Susan Gillick finished second with 1,330 votes, or 37 percent. That’s not really close, but when you factor in the 555 votes, or 15 percent, won by Wendy Mistretta, the third-place finisher, it becomes evident that a single challenger to McCarthy might have unseated him.

Not again, Bryon: Retired firefighter Bryon McIntyre has got to be the nicest guy who never got elected to office. He had his clock cleaned my incumbent Mary Ruth Kapsiak on Tuesday, 1,174 votes to 700. One of these days, Bryon…

Good luck, Carl: Turnout was high in the McCarthy-Gillick-Mistretta race, but nothing like the turnout in the Park District, where Carl Paladino won an astonishing 2,543 votes. I guess that’s a mandate. We’ll see what he does with it.

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