Ognibene pulls out of legislative race

FALCONER – Samuel J. Ognibene has suspended his candidacy for the Chautauqua County Legislature District 15 seat.

The Democratic contender and lifelong Falconer resident issued a short, written statement to his supporters, citing personal reasons behind his decision not to pursue the District 15 seat, which represents the southern part of Ellicott and the villages of Falconer and Celoron.

“Dear friends and supporters, I wish to inform you that for personal reasons I have decided not to seek election to the Chautauqua County Legislature,” Ognibene said. “I appreciate your past, present and future support.”

Ognibene, despite suspending his candidacy, will still remain on the ballot according to Norman P. Green, Democratic commissioner of elections for Chautauqua County.

“He is still (technically) a candidate and can still win,” Green said. “But he has 30 days after Jan. 1 (the day he would potentially assume office) to file his oath of office.”

Green explained that if Ognibene chooses not to file his oath of office, the Democratic Committee of District 15 will choose someone else to fill the vacancy.

The Republican contender for the District 15 seat is Lisa Vanstrom. There is currently no incumbent.

The election is scheduled for Nov. 5.