Himelein defends election night comment

MAYVILLE – The town of Chautauqua Democratic chair is saying, “not so fast” to comments made by David Himelein, R-Findley Lake, after Tuesday’s primary.

Following Tuesday’s primary, Himelein was contacted by the OBSERVER after defeating fellow legislator Fred Croscut, R-Sherman.

“I am very happy that voters elected me as the new legislator for District 18,” Himelein had said. “I think they felt that they wanted their legislator and legislators to go in a different direction than what they have in the past, and this was a result of that – that they wanted somebody newer, fresher, younger in the position, and the results are just in, and it looks like they wanted me to do it.”

Doris Parment, town of Chautauqua Democratic chair, followed the statement with a release saying “not so fast.”

“Mr. Himelein declared himself our new legislator in Wednesday’s paper,” Parment said. “I want to remind Mr. Himelein that Democratic candidate Ed Carutis is still in the race, and is working hard to be the elected county legislator for the voters of Chautauqua, Sherman and Mina.”

“While I don’t appreciate Mr. Himelein declaring himself the winner of the General Election,” continued Parment, “I do agree with Mr. Himelein’s assessment of what the voters of the district are looking for in a legislator.”

Parment stated the description of “newer, fresher, younger” fits Ed Carutis, Democratic candidate for the District 18 seat. Carutis, who is 57, is a teacher at Chautauqua Lake Central school and resides on Morris Road in the town of Chautauqua. Himelein is 66.

According to Himelein, his comment was in direct reaction to being named the Republican candidate in the primary election, and had nothing to do with the general election.

“That is what I mean, that the fact that the Republican voters in the primary chose me as the Republican candidate for legislator in District 18,” Himelein said. “I do know that the Democrats do have a candidate running for the same seat that I am running for. I will have to run against him in the general election in November.”

The general election will be taking place Nov. 5 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information on the Chautauqua County Board of Elections, visit www.votechautauqua.com.

Comments on this article may be sent to editorial@observertoday.com.