AMHERST — Despite his sizable margin of victory, Amherst Mayor David Taylor said he “always ran scared” in his campaign for a third term against challenger Joe Gambish, the city’s 3rd Ward councilman.
Taylor, 71, a Republican, credited a campaign that emphasized his accomplishments during his previous eight years in office.
Gambish, 37, an independent and first-time mayoral candidate, said his unsuccessful bid will conclude eight years of public service, including six on council.
“I respect whatever the voters decide. I’m fine with that,” he said.
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Unofficial returns showed Taylor winning by a vote of 3,289 to 1,582, or 68 percent to 32 percent.
Gambish said he thought the relatively strong turnout would favor him more than it did.
Taylor said the city will continue to contend with budgetary issues.
“Economics drives everything,’’ he said. “If we don’t have the money, we can’t do anything.”
Taylor pointed to the city’s balanced budget, which he said has been achieved in recent years without layoffs or cuts.
“We have learned to live within our means,” he said.
Gambish credited Taylor for the city’s sound finances while noting that the community faces “challenges that are not being addressed. Dave Taylor is a good man, and I’ve always thought so, but if people learned anything from this election, I hope it’s that they start asking questions and start asking for results.”
Pressing issues facing the city include the flooding in many parts of town this year, Gambish said.
The city will continue to work to improve its infrastructure to ease future flooding, Taylor said.
“We’ve got an aging system, and we’re working to rebuild it, but it’s an expensive and complex situation that’s going to take time,” he said.
Gambish’s seat on Council will be taken by Charles Winiarski, who ran unopposed.
Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or firstname.lastname@example.org.