MAYVILLE - All county poll sites will be opened by the Chautauqua County Board of Elections from noon to 9 p.m. June 26 for Democratic and Republican Primary elections to choose federal candidates for the Nov. 6 General Election ballot.
Democrats will choose from three candidates for the New York 23rd Congressional District: Nate Shinagawa, a hospital administrator from Ithaca; Leslie Danks Burke, an attorney from Ithaca; and Melissa Dobson, an attorney from Owego.
Current Democratic Congressman Brian Higgins of Buffalo will no longer represent Chautauqua County as of January 2013 due to congressional redistricting that occurs once every 10 years.
The winner of the June Democratic primary election will face off against current Congressman Tom Reed, an attorney from Corning, whose southern tier district was re-drawn to now include Chautauqua County.
In addition to Chautauqua, the counties of the new 23rd Congressional District (and a major city or village for identification purposes) now include Cattaraugus (Olean), Allegany (Wellsville), Steuben (Hornell), Chemung (Elmira), most of Tioga (Owego), the eastern half of Ontario (Geneva), Seneca (Seneca Falls), Yates (Penn Yan), Schuyler (Watkins Glen) and Tompkins County (Ithaca).
The largest city in the new district is Jamestown and the largest county is Chautauqua. The new district voted for President Obama in 2008, but is 40 percent Republican, 33 percent Democratic by voter registration. Chautauqua and Tompkins are the only Democratic-majority counties and are the only two counties in the district that gave Obama a majority in 2008.
Republicans in the county will join the rest of New York in deciding the GOP nominee to face off against incumbent Democratic United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, an attorney from the Albany area. The Republican lineup includes conservative activist Wendy Long, a New York City attorney; Bob Turner, a current member of the House of Representatives and former television executive from New York City; and Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos of Long Island.
The primary elections for local political party committees and local candidates is currently scheduled for Sept. 11. For more election information, contact the Board of Elections at 753-4580 or visit www.votechautauqua.com