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Erie County party chairmen reflect on election

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Buffalo: Erie County party chairmen reflect on election
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The chairmen of the Erie County Democrats and Republicans say newly elected candidates are preparing for their next challenges.
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BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Democrats claimed many victories around the country Tuesday night, headlined by the re-election of Barack Obama.

"Here in Erie County it was a much tougher night for Democrats," Analyst Jack O'Donnell said."

Republicans regained a Congressional seat in Western New York, defeated an incumbent Democrat for Erie County Comptroller and easily retained a state Senate seat in a heavily Democratic district.

"All politics is local and we focus on recruiting great candidates having the right message to run on for the community and to get resources together so our candidates can get the message out to the voters," Erie County Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy said.

Republican Chris Collins will join Democrat Brian Higgins as part of the new Western New York Congressional Delegation.

"I just hope that he's able to work across the aisle unlike what he has suggested during the campaign that he will not work with Democrats," Erie County Democratic Chairman Jeremy Zellner said.

O'Donnell believes bipartisanship will benefit Collins even though he's in the majority party.

"Chris Collins is going to be a freshman member in a body that really values seniority," he said. "So I would expect him and Congressman Higgins to sort of work together and find ways they can cooperatively advocate for Western New York."

Meanwhile New York State Senator Mark Grisanti will return to Albany. But it's still unclear which party will control the Senate due to contested races.

"The leadership of the Senate is going to have a big impact on what Mark Grisanti can deliver over the next two years," O'Donnell said.

"My guess is whether there's a majority or the minority he's going to continue to be an effective voice for Western New York," Langworthy said.

Now that the votes have been cast, the newly elected officials say there's difficult work ahead.

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