Primary Races Leaning Towards Non-Endorsed Candidates

September 20, 2013 Updated Sep 20, 2013 at 11:34 PM EDT

By WKBW Admin

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September 20, 2013 Updated Sep 20, 2013 at 11:34 PM EDT

BUFFALO (WKBW) After a week and half, two tightly contested Democratic primaries within Erie County are just about decided, with the balances shifting towards candidates not endorsed by the Democratic party.

The final count of the absentee ballots is almost done, and there may be some surprises, especially among Erie County Democrats.

First in the primary for Erie County Sheriff, Bert Dunn was the party-endorsed candidate, but Dick Dobson pulled ahead on election night. Now that race is all-but decided.

"I think it's mathematically almost impossible for Dunn to make up the difference that Dick Dobson had on election night," Erie County Board of Elections Commissioner Ralph Mohr said.

In the race for the first district seat in the Erie County Legislature, incumbent and endorsed Democrat Timothy Hogues now trails challenger Barbara Miller-Williams, with more than 90% of the ballots counted.

"Barbara Miller-Williams had a twenty vote lead on election day, we're through the majority of the districts plus the absentee ballots, and it looks like Barbara Miller-Williams expanded her lead slightly, in that race," Mohr added.

Two endorsed candidates, facing likely defeat in primaries.

Political analyst Bob Davis attributes it to differing ideas within the Democratic party.

"It's unusual, there's no question it is unusual for an endorsed candidate, especially one running county wide with the support of the county organization. It is very unusual for the county wide endorsed candidate to lose," Davis said.

Now Davis claims the party needs to get behind the winner's if it wants to avoid a similar split outcome in the general election come November.

"The county Democratic chairman is going to try to bring all the factions of his party together, for the good of his party, so they can win in November. They don't want to be split going into November and elect a Republican. Maybe there is one Democratic group that doesn't like this Democratic group but I can tell you they both don't like Republicans," he said.

Final official election results cannot happen until every ballot is counted and tallied. Certified results are expected from the Board of Elections sometime next week.