Controversial Political Race Turns Toward the Issues

November 2, 2011 Updated Nov 2, 2011 at 7:25 AM EDT

By Jaclyn Asztalos

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November 2, 2011 Updated Nov 2, 2011 at 7:25 AM EDT

Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW) - Election Day is less than a week away and candidates for Erie County Executive, Incumbent Chris Collins and Mark Poloncarz, are reaching out to the public in their final effort to win votes. Both Candidates campaigned at local venues, Tuesday.

Collins was on Grand Island at a "Meet the Candidates Night". He talked about his beliefs in small government, fiscal responsibility and his record in the passed four years.

Poloncarz met with voters first in Alden then in Amherst. He spoke about issues that he feels are important to the public, including job creation. He also talked about his successes as County Comptroller, the position he currently holds.

This race has been full of ups and downs and much controversy including a phone scam and election fraud accusations. In this last week, candidates said they hope to get back to the issues.

"We have an approved 4-year plan with no tax increases, further reducing the county debt by another $100-million dollars. Paying the pension costs today that other counties are deferring. Frankly, other counties are on quick-sand, we're on solid footing," Collins said.

Poloncarz said he works for the people.

"The people of Erie County are my bosses. I don't think my opponent understands that. He likes to dictate but he doesn't understand that he's a public servant. I do. I'll never forget that my bosses are the hard-working people of Erie County," Poloncarz said.

Both Collins and Poloncarz said they will keep busy this final week as they work to take their message directly to the voters of Erie County.

Be sure to stay with Eyewitness News and WKBW.com as count down the to Election Day, Tuesday November 8th.