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Past and present broadcasters score election victories

SYRACUSE and UTICA — At least two former Syracuse TV reporters enjoyed victories on election night. Jean Kessner was re-elected to the Syracuse Common Council. Stefan Mychajliw was re-elected as Erie County Comptroller in his hometown of Buffalo. And in Utica, longtime WIBX “Auto Talk” host Ed Welsh was re-elected to the Oneida County Legislature.

According to the Buffalo News, Mychajliw, 39, first won the seat last year to fill a vacancy, but last night’s victory will allow him to serve in the post for a full term. Mychajliw (pronounced ma-HI-a-lou, if memory serves us right) worked at Syracuse’s channel 3 (WSTM) for a few years in the mid 1990s, following his graduation from Syracuse University. Starting out as a photographer, Mychajliw eventually moved in front of the camera, first as a sports reporter and fill-in anchor, and later moving into news.

In the late 1990s, Mychajliw moved back to his hometown of Buffalo to work at channel 7 (WKBW/ABC) and later for channel 2 (WGRZ/NBC) from 2002 to 2007. From then until being elected to office last year, Mychajliw held a number of jobs in public relations and even co-founded his own PR firm.

Mychajliw, a Republican, won the race with 58% of the vote, beating his opponent by nearly 25,000 votes.

Kessner re-elected despite no endorsement

Former NewsChannel 9 (WSYR-TV) investigative reporter Jean Kessner won another term as the Councilor-at-Large on Syracuse’s Common Council. According to syracuse.com, Kessner was the top vote-getter both this year, and in 2009. This time around, keeping her seat would require Kessner to clear an extra hurdle — local leaders of the Democratic Party chose to endorse other candidates, requiring Kessner to collect signatures to force a primary.

Voters were asked to select two out of four candidates for Councilor-at-Large seats. Kessner and fellow Democrat Pamela Hunter won with each receiving 39% of the vote, Kessner in the lead by 85 votes.

Ed Welsh keeps legislative seat

Ed Welsh wears a number of hats. Primarily, he works with AAA in Utica, but on Saturday mornings, he’s the host of “Auto Talk” on WIBX 950. And for at least a couple more years, he’ll continue to represent his South Utica neighborhood as a member of the Oneida County Legislature. The Observer-Dispatch says Welsh beat his opponent by a margin of 900-549.

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