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Kulzer defeats Hinkleman in Lewis County District 7 (VIDEO)

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LOWVILLE — Unofficial results after absentee ballots were counted Wednesday declared Gregory M. Kulzer the winner over C. Lee Hinkleman in Lewis County Legislature District 7 by two votes, 255-253. Mr. Hinkleman was trailing by six votes, 247-241, after the Nov. 5 election. A third candidate, Jeffrey F. Beyer, was knocked out of contention on Election Day.

All three candidates are registered Republicans, but Mr. Beyer ran on the Democratic line. Mr. Hinkleman won the Republican line in the primary and the Conservative nod from a decision with the party in Albany.

Mr. Kulzer ran solely on the independent line, and Teresa K. Clark, clerk of the board of legislators, said she believes it was the only time that has ever occurred.

“I knew it was going to be close,” said Mr. Kulzer following the count. “I think I did well for running on the independent party line and not having the backing of the Republicans.”

Mr. Hinkleman, who did not attend the public count at the Board of Elections office, said by telephone, “I am very upbeat. I think Greg will do a tremendous job. With the new board of legislators, you can’t do anything but move up.”

In the town of Osceola, Election Day left Highway Superintendent Michael Wilk leading Richard Meagher by two votes, 70-68. Absentee ballots left the two in a tie at 73 apiece.

Two ballots were not opened due to an objection from Mr. Wilk, who, during the meeting, voiced his opposition to the ballots. The voters should not be allowed to cast ballots in Osceola, he claims, because they do not reside full-time in the seasonal properties they gave as addresses when registering to vote.

State law allows the ballots to remain unopened for three days, according to Lindsay I. Burriss, the county’s Democratic election commissioner.

Once the three days have passed, the election commissioners will open the ballots, “unless otherwise directed by an order of the court.”

Mr. Wilk indicated Wednesday morning he planned to seek legal counsel.

The four-way race for Osceola Town Council was also decided from absentee ballots, leaving two Republican candidates as winners. Amanda L. Sterling and Vickie A. Carpinelli defeated Colleen M. Burns and Joanne A. Conklin.

Kulzer defeats Hinkleman in District 7
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