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Melissa Hartman declares victory in Erie County Clerk Democratic primary

(WIVB) — Melissa Hartman has declared victory in the Democratic primary for Erie County Clerk.

Hartman faced off against incumbent Mickey Kearns in the race. Around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, commanding nearly 64% of the vote, with 92% of votes reported, Hartman declared victory in the primary.

Mickey Kearns has served as Clerk since 2017, when Chris Jacobs left the seat to run for State Senate. Kearns is a self-professed lifelong Democrat, however, he is also running on the Republican line for the general election in November.

“We’re ready to go,” Kearns said. “I think the chairman needs to step aside. The Board of Elections commissioner, let him step aside. Now we have a candidate on the Democratic line and let’s talk about clerk issues.”

Kearns has run on the Republican line before — in the special election in 2017 and the general election in 2018.

“We’ll see you in November,” he said.

Melissa Hartman is the current Eden Town Supervisor and had previously been registered as a Republican, though she is now the Democrat-endorsed candidate for the Clerk election. Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz also endorsed Hartman.

“I’ve always led my town without politics involved,” Hartman said. “I am there to serve the community I am going to do that when I am county clerk. Politics don’t need to be involved in those decision. I am here to serve. Unfortunately we have to do party lines. But I am where I’m supposed to be and I’m proud of that.”

Kearns has challenged Hartman to monthly debates, to which Hartman said, “Let’s go.”

Adam Duke is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of his work here.

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