Bonnie Bennett is the village of Aurora's new mayor, winning with 80 votes in a three-way race on Tuesday night. She will replace Tom Gunderson, who stepped down, in April.

George Farenthold got 61 votes and Alan Connors garnered 27. There were also two write-in votes, Sarah Malena and John McCartney, each with one.

“It didn't occur to me it might happen,” Bennett said. “I'm actually looking forward to this.

“I'm not going in as cold as I would have had I not had to think seriously about it.”

She said she believed she and Farenthold, a village trustee, would work fine together.

“I'm definitely going to keep the conflict of interest in check,” she said about Farenthold bring married to Wells College President Lisa Marsh Ryerson.

“I can only say good things about Bonnie,” Farenthold said. “It was a good campaign, and she was extraordinarily organized. But the real winner in this election was the village of Aurora. About 172 people voted with 279 registered. I believe that's north of 60 percent, and that's extraordinary.”

Farenthold said tremendous credit goes to the community.

“It would be sweeter to win, but that's OK. I'm fine with the will of the people.”

Connors couldn't be reached for comment.

The trio faced tough questions during two debates.

The hotly contested election at first brought out only a trickle of voters during the day, with 49 votes cast out of 279 by late afternoon, but numbers mushroomed up to 173 by the end of the race, village clerk Dee Nance said .

The mayor receives $1,000 a year for a four-year term.

Two trustee seats were also filled by Jannet Murphy with 130 votes and Marie Taylor, with 88 , also four-year terms at $1,000.

In addition to the candidates on the ballot, there were several write-ins for village trustee: John McCartney, 39; Connors, who was running for mayor, received five; Ken Zabriskie, two; Todd Zwigard two; Marie Dentes, two; Attilio Rezzonico, Alan Clugston, Jim Chase, and Charles Eackelbarger, all one vote each.

The Village of Cayuga's two trustee seats went to incumbents Christopher Ryan with 65 votes and Ronald Erickson with 54. Challenger William Sherman received 44. The seats carry two-year terms at $1,700 per year.

The winners of Fair Haven's two trustee seats were incumbents Holley Webster (100 votes) and Matthew H. Osterhaudt (71). Challenger Susan Stanistreet came in a close third at 63. Both four-year terms, the seats pay $3,000 per year.

Former Mayor Martin Hubbard and incumbent Sue Jones won the two open seats on the Board of Trustees in Skaneateles village elections.

Hubbard secured his seat by receiving 223 votes, or 40 percent. Jones took 185 votes, or 32.3 percent, and second-term hopeful Kathryn Carlson, was edged out with a tally of 164, or 28.7 percent.

Including 24 absentee ballots, 335 people cast their votes in Tuesday's election.

#* Staff writer Nathan Baker contributed to this report

Staff writer Kathleen Barran can be reached at 253-5311 ext. 238 or kathleen.barran@lee.net

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