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September 4, 2008 - 12:27pm

Family-tied skirmish in the 61st Senate District race

posted by Howard B. Owens in Michele Iannello, Joe Mesi, Dan Ward.

OK, maybe you knew this already, but it's news to me.

Michele Iannello, and Erie County legislator and Democratic candidate for the 61st State Senate District is married to Erie County Board of Elections Commissioner Dennis Ward.

If that isn't weird enough, Dennis is the brother of one of the other candidates in the race, Dan Ward.

According to this Tonawanda News story.

The third candidate, boxer Joe Mesi’s, is not, as far as I know, but correct me if I'm wrong, related to any of the three.

Oh, and the real point of the Tonawanda News story is how Mesi and Iannello and hurling charges back and forth.

As Erie County Legislator Michele Iannello renewed her request for an evaluation of Joe Mesi’s campaign finances, Mesi’s camp struck back with a charge of their own.

Their concern over the integrity of Tuesday’s elections stems from Iannello’s husband, Erie County Board of Elections Commissioner Dennis Ward, also the brother of third candidate Dan Ward not responding to Mesi’s request that Commissioner Ward recuse himself from oversight of Tuesday’s elections.

On a somewhat related note: We've asked all three candidates to respond to a short questionnaire, and none have yet responded.

Patrick D. Burk
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Last seen: 8 years 11 months ago
Joined: Apr 23 2008 - 3:27pm
Howard...you obviously missed my posting on this topic. Michele Iannello is married to Dennis Ward and therefor he can not oversee the results without another Elections Commissioner or a Deputy Commissioner signing off on them as well. By the by....that is standard practice for all elections.....nothing is handled individually at the Board of Elections.....Mesi knows this....just making Hay when there is no grass in the field as far as I can see it. Mesi also recieved tons of dollars of advertising money from the Golisano pact..... maybe illegal, but who knows. Also, my recent post equating this whole election like an episode of the old TV show Dallas..... It only goes to prove that the "bigger" picture is sometimes about just how small the world can be. In the purpose of full disclosure...I endorsed Michele Iannello....
Daniel Jones
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Joined: May 2 2008 - 9:36am
I agree with Pat, I think that Mesi, Iannello and the media should more focus on what the given candidates are going to do on the issues and how they would represent us in the State Senate, this whole family-feud issue is silly in my mind.
Jerome Grasso
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Last seen: 10 years 3 months ago
Joined: May 24 2008 - 6:44pm
I have a solution for you all regarding this soap opera. The mature, responsible, educated, and most of all, EXPERIENCED candidate, is Mike Ranzenhoffer. Unlike the others, he has actual ties to Genesee County (a law office here) and represents a Legislative district in Erie County that similiar to Genesee County.

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