TOWNS OF LYSANDER, VAN BUREN – There will be new leadership in the town of Lysander as the result of last week’s local election.
Town Councilor Kevin Rode, who was first elected to the board in 2021, defeated Robert Wicks, ending Wicks’ four-year run as the town’s top elected official.
Wicks was the only candidate on the Republican slate that wasn’t endorsed by the town’s Conservative Party, which endorsed Rode. All the other Republicans were elected.
In his campaign, Rode said the fact that he was endorsed as a Democrat and a Conservative showed that he has the ability to find common ground on issues affecting the town. He also campaigned on improving communication with the residents of the town and with the town’s employees and said he would seek out public input on how the town should address the inevitable growth associated with Micron’s investment down the road in the town of Clay.
Rode’s election will create a vacancy on the five-person board.
In the end, the margin wasn’t particularly close, with Rode getting about 55 percent of the votes.
Incumbent town councilors Peter Moore (3,497 votes) and Jeffrey Kudarauskas (3,163 votes) fairly easily outpaced Democratic challenger William Stowell (2,460 votes).
Incumbent Town Justice Charles Mantione was also easily reelected with nearly 62 percent of the vote over Democratic challenger Kenneth Christopher.
GOP runs unopposed in Van Buren
Across the river in the town of Van Buren, there will be some new faces on the board, but that was known well before election day as all the races were unopposed.
Richard Zaccaria was elected to his first full term as town supervisor. He will be joined on the board by incumbents Jennifer Sullivan and Wendy Van Der Water, along with Robert Grover and newcomer Roger Hand.
Town clerk Lynn Precourt will remain in the role she has served since 2002.
All the successful candidates are endorsed Republicans.