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WJTN News Headlines for Tues., Nov. 2, 2021

County reports steady, but, lower turn-out for early voting this year...
More than 3,000 Chautauqua County residents took part in the nine-day, early voting across the county, which ended on Sunday.  County Republican Elections Commissioner Brian Abram says the number was down from 2019... which was the first year of early voting in New York state.  Abram adds their Dunkirk location at the county fairgrounds was the busiest... of their four locations... and, just over 3,200 people cast ballots.  He says 3,827 people voted early in 2019.  Last year... with the pandemic and a presidential election... the numbers were very high.
Meanwhile, the Board of Elections geared up Monday for Election Day today.  Voting runs runs now to 9 p.m. tonight.  The major races locally include Chautauqua County Executive.  Republican incumbant PJ Wendel is seeking a full, four-year term after filling out the remainder of the four year term current State Senator George Borrello won in 2017.  Wendel is being opposed by Democratic Party Chairman, and former Elections Commissioner, Norm Green.  Also countywide today... incumbant County Clerk Larry Barmore is seeking a third, four-year term in office.  The Republican is being challenged by Democrat David Salley.

The entire Chautauqua County Legislature is up for a vote.  However... only eight of the seats are contested.  In Jamestown... they include Democrat Robert Whitney, who is running for re-election in District 11 in a rematch from 2013 against Republican David Wilfong.  In District 12... Republican Elizabeth Rankin is being challenged by Democrat Heather Fagan.  There is a three-way race in District 16... where Republican John Davis is seeking re-election.  He's being challenged by Democrat Dustin Carvella.  The third challenger is Libertarian Gerrit Cain.  And... in District 8... Republican Legislature Chairman Pierre Chagnon is being challenged by Democrat Scott Humble. There's also a rematch of the District 18 GOP Primary between Martin Proctor, who won the primary, over Bill Ward.  However... Ward was cross-endorsed, and will have the Democratic line.  

All nine Jamestown City Council races up for a vote today... some unopposed, though...
The entire Jamestown City Council is up for a vote today... with every at-large seat contested.  The incumbants include Republicans Kim Ecklund and Jeff Russell.  Democratic incumbant Tamu Graham-Reinhardt is not seeking re-election.  The challengers include Democrats Christina Cardinale, Ellen DiTonto, and Alyssa Porter.  The Republican challenger is Randy Daversa.  
The contested ward races include: Ward-Three... where Democrat Regina Brackman, who replaced the late Vickye James, will face Republican Robert Reedy, Junior.  In the Fourth-Ward... where incumbant Democrat Marie Carrubba is facing Republican Rick Elardo.  In Ward-Six... incumbant Democrat Tom Nelson is being challenged by Republican Andrew Faulkner.  Among those running unopposed is Second-Ward Republican Council President, Tony Dolce.  Incumbant Ward-Five Republican Grant Olson, who recently announced he was not seeking another term, is opposed by Democrat Doug Lawson on the ballot.

Some local races being watched by election observers today...
New Yorkers are set to make important decisions in elections to pick mayors, prosecutors, county leaders and other local positions.  Voters in New York City will pick a new mayor Tuesday.  In Buffalo... a mayoral race between a moderate and self-described socialist has gained attention as the latest fight over how Democrats should best tackle the plight of the poor and working class.  Voters statewide will get to decide whether to tweak the state's constitution to pave the way for election and environmental reforms favored by advocacy groups and the Democratic-led Legislature.

City man sentenced to 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison for 2019 shooting death in Sherman...
A Jamestown man has been sentenced to 1 1/3 to 4 years in state prison after pleading guilty to criminally negligent homicide in a 2019 shooting death in Sherman.  The Chautauqua County Court Clerk's office confirmed the sentence for Julio Montanez Monday morning.  Montanez was indicted on charges of second-degree murder and two counts of second-degree attempted murder in the death of 28 year-old Justin Gibbons of Mayville.  Montanez pleaded guilty just before his trial was to begin in September.  Prosecutors say Gibbons was shot multiple times in the area of 114 West Main St. in Sherman on Oct. 6, 2019.  He was taken by ambulance to Westfield Memorial Hospital but later pronounced dead.  The shooting reportedly took place after a narcotics deal in a parking lot when array.

Hochul signs expanded Paid Family Leave bill...
New York Governor Kathy Hochul has signed legislation extending paid family leave coverage to people who provide care for... or assist siblings with things like a pregnancy.  Among those on hand for the bill signing in Albany Monday afternoon... was hand was the head of the non-profit "A Better Balance" program, Deena Bax.  Bax strongly advocated for the bill, which she says will allow siblings, who may be the only close relative someone has, to help them if they have a serious illness.  She also called on the US Senate to approve the federal Pregnant Workers Fairness Act after it received strong, bi-partisan support in the U-S House of Representatives.  Governor Hochul, who was not afforded Family Leave when she became pregnant for the first time 33 years ago, says it's an issue of fundamental rights.  She says some people only have a sibling to help out with a pregnancy, and immediately after.  There are also cases of where a person only has a sibling to take care of them after a hospitalization.  The initial Paid Family Leave bill was approved in New York in 2016.