By KATIE ATKINS
OBSERVER Mayville Bureau
Vince Horrigan responded to a crowd of cheering voters at an election-night gathering inside Republican headquarters Tuesday in downtown Jamestown.
OBSERVER Photo by Nicole Gugino
County Executive-elect Vince Horrigan (left) and County Clerk-elect Larry Barmore visited Liberty Foods and Spirits Restaurant Tuesday night before votes were tallied.
Horrigan won the seat for Chautauqua County Executive, defeating Democrat Ron Johnson with 55.88 percent of the votes (13,858) to Johnson's 44.06 percent (10,926).
"This is about all of you," he said, beginning his speech to a round of applause. "This is an incredible time. I'm humbled. There will be a great future for Chautauqua County."
Horrigan said his first order of business will be to appoint a transition team to help him analyze countywide issues and the best way to implement goals he wishes to accomplish. He declined to name who will aid him in the transition.
Horrigan said following his appointment of the transition team, his goal will be to visit with area business owners and employees in order to investigate what's best for economic development and growth.
"I want to talk to all of the employees," he said. "I'm excited about venturing into workplaces."
Of the Chautauqua County Home, he said, "We (the Republican Party) see opportunity for private investment," and "we've determined the best way to move forward. We're all working hard."
"I'm confident we'll be able to move ourselves forward to a period of growth," Horrigan said, adding Ron Johnson had personally called him within minutes of the election's end to congratulate him.
Johnson spoke at the First Ward Falcon Club in Dunkirk following his loss.
"When I first met him (Horrigan), we exchanged phone numbers and we said if anything went negative we should call each other and stop it," Johnson said. "Nothing ever went negative in this campaign. We stayed positive and we stayed issue oriented. That's the thing we need to do with all our of government, we need to get back to working on issues. I would hope that everybody would take something away from this. What I took away from this, is some of the greatest friends I ever made."
"I'm thrilled with the Republican tsunami," said current County Executive Greg Edwards of Horrigan and Larry Barmore, who won the seat for county clerk. In addition, the new County Legislature will be composed of 13 Republicans out of 19 total legislators.
"Chautauqua County voters are bright, and tonight proves that. I'm very excited for the future of the county," he added. "The voters were paying attention."
Edwards said he is looking forward to his new job as the CEO of the Gebbie Foundation, effective Nov. 18, and he will appoint an interim county executive for the term of 44 days leading up to Jan. 1.
"I'm most excited that I get to stay here, working in economic development and community development," he said. "People will receive the benefit of current leaders ensuring new leaders will move the county forward."
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