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Decision 2012: Erie County Comptroller's race preview

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Buffalo: Decision 2012: Erie County Comptroller's race preview
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ERIE COUNTY -- Among all of the political commercials leading up to election day, an unlikely race has joined in. The two candidates in the race for Erie County Comptroller have traded jabs with their own campaign ads.

The race pits current Erie County Comptroller David Shenk against businessman Stefan Mychajliw.

Shenk was appointed Comptroller less than a year ago when then Comptroller Mark Poloncarz won the County Executive race. Shenk was the Town of Boston Clerk for more than a decade and is also an Army Reservist who has completed three tours overseas.

"I've been tested numerous times under very tense situations," Erie County Comptroller David Shenk said. "Often times that's what you need, someone who has the independence and has been tested to run that organization."

Mychajliw was a television journalist in Buffalo before starting his own public relations business. He said he's familiar with all parts of county government.

"I'm a business owner and I have that experience on the business side of the equation, but people also know me as an independent watchdog that uncovered fraud, waste, and abuse in Erie County government," Mychajliw said.

The Comptroller's office monitors the county's finances and conducts audits and reviews of county departments and offices. Both candidates said it's an independent position.

"I could care less about party labels," Mychajliw said. "I will fight for taxpayers against those politicians. If I anger politicians or party bosses, good because that means I'm doing my job in fighting for the people of Erie County."

Shenk said, "It's a $1.5 billion organization and the Comptroller serves as the chief fiscal, financial, auditing, and accounting office. I have 20 years of relevant experience and I've been challenged in the military throughout the years. That's what I'm bringing to the equation."

This is a special election to fill the Erie County Comptroller's office. It will once again be on the ballot in 2013.

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