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The Sun election 2013 coverage: Erie County Legislature

Erie County Legislator Lynne Dixon
Lynne Dixon
Erie County Legislator – 9th District


Erie County Legislator Lynne Dixon currently represents District 9 of the Erie County Legislature, which includes Blasdell, Hamburg, Lackawanna and a portion of South Buffalo. She was first elected to the Erie County Legislature in November 2009, on a reform platform that included reducing the size of the Legislature and eliminating district offices. She was reelected to her second term in November 2011.

Her stated focus is to provide residents with quality services, while holding the line on taxes. Last year, Dixon joined a bipartisan effort to eliminate the county executive’s proposed tax increase, while providing funding for certain residential programs and services.

Dixon said that she is committed to maintaining the county’s infrastructure and advocates that investments be made in roads and bridges, to resolve issues now, before they become more costly.

Dixon has been involved with the Yellow Dot program; the Silver Alert initiative to locate missing adults and the Cyber-bullying Law, which focuses on protecting youth. She hosts community meetings throughout the district, to meet directly with residents to discuss concerns. She also provides boater safety courses and car seat checks.

Dixon has organized the Prom Dress Drive for four years, to provide free gowns to local girls. She has also partnered with local schools for her Valentines for Veterans program, which delivers thousands of cards to local veterans and service men and women.  

Dixon has had involvement in each of the communities she represents and said that she believes that meeting with elected officials from all levels of government, residents and community leaders provides her with a unique understanding of what is important to the community.

She currently serves on the Legislature’s public safety, minority and women enterprise and health and human services committees.

She has taken part in various charities, associations and fundraising events, including Kids Escaping Drugs, Say Yes, Parent-Child Connection, Hamburg Finance Academy, New York State Association of Counties and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. She was also a founding member of the local Make-A-Wish chapter and currently serves on the board for both the Meals on Wheels for Western New York and Buffalo’s Say Yes to Education.

She spent 22 years as a journalist, including 12 years as a general assignment reporter at WGRZ-TV. She received the inaugural Tim Russert Award, in addition to the Best of Gannett, New York State Broadcasters and Associated Press awards.

The candidate and her husband Tim live in the village of Hamburg with their children Jack, Erin, Owen and Caroline.

The Erie County Sheriff’s Police Benevolent Association Inc. recently announced its support for Dixon, who is also endorsed by the Republican, Conservative and Independence parties.

Mike Schraft
Erie County Legislator – 9th District


Mike Schraft is running for Erie County Legislator, District 9. He has been endorsed by the Democratic Party.

His stated community priorities are to protect programs and services for seniors, children and families; encourage economic growth through balanced budgeting and informed fiscal policy; redevelop waterfront land in Hamburg, Lackawanna and South Buffalo and eliminate fraud, waste and abuse in all facets of Erie County operations.

He has worked with federal, state and local public service for more than 12 years. He has held positions as development officer and senior budget analyst within the United States Department of State.

Schraft was a comptroller airman and financial manager for the U.S. Air Force and was also an environmental management volunteer with the U.S. Peace Corps.

He received his Ph.D. in political science from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Erie County Legislator John Mills
John Mills
Erie County Legislator – 11th District


Legislator John Mills is running unopposed for reelection as the Erie County Legislature’s 11th District legislator. A lifelong resident of Orchard Park, Mills graduated from Orchard Park High School and earned a degree in business administration from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He is president of J. Mills Distributing Company, a food distribution company that he founded with his wife, Barbara.

Mills has served in various capacities of public office and has a stated focus in cutting wasteful spending, delivering necessary services and respecting the taxpayers. He served on the Orchard Park Town Board for six terms, where he held the title of deputy supervisor and cofounded the zoning commission.

He ran for county Legislature with a stated goal of improving efficiency and providing residents with the services they deserve. In 2005, Mills was elected to his first term and was reelected in 2007. He was unopposed in 2009 and 2011 and does not face an opponent in this year’s election.

In January 2007, Mills was first elected minority leader by his Republican caucus peers; he still holds that office.

Last year, Mills fought to stop the county executive’s proposed tax increase, by cutting more than $8 million from the budget.

During his tenure, Mills has advocated for infrastructure repairs, ensuring that county roads and bridges are maintained. He has also dedicated time and money to the libraries in his district, by hosting hot dog roast fundraisers every year. Using his minority leader salary, Mills funds the events and has donated more than $40,000 to the branches in his district.

He is a lifetime member of the Friends of the Orchard Park Library and is a member of the Western New York Food Bank, American Legion, Lions Club (Orchard Park), Shriners, Masons – Lodge No. 514, Orchard Park Historical Society and the Greater Aurora and Orchard Park Chambers of Commerce. He is a former vice president of the Orchard Park Jaycees and a past chairman of the Quaker Arts Festival. He is a past president of the Orchard Park Lions Club.

He has been endorsed by the Republican, Conservative and Independence parties.

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