In this year's only contested election for a Cattaraugus County office, Dr. Elwyn C. Clark and Kevin M. O’Rourke are running for coroner.
O’Rourke, the incumbent, is running with the endorsements of the Republican and Independence parties. Clark is on the Democrat and Conservative parties’ lines.
“It is my desire to continue my duties as coroner and ensure that Cattaraugus County remains adequately and geographically covered by coroners who have the ability to respond to unattended, accidental, or criminal deaths in a timely and knowledgeable fashion,” O’Rourke said in a press release.
O’Rourke is the vice president of O’Rourke & O’Rourke Funeral Home in Salamanca.
“My tenure as coroner, as well as my practical experience as a funeral director, enables me to carry out this position in a professional manner, with the ability to effectively deal with families during the most difficult and emotional time,” he said.
Clark is the first doctor to be on the ballot for Cattaraugus County coroner since 1991.
“Epidemics, health trends, disease patterns are all determined by data that is pulled from information recorded on a death certificate,” he said in a press release. “What the coroner finds and reports will help any community make better choices for its children and residents and be used by county health officials to improve the overall well-being of those who live here.”
Clark served the U.S. Army Reserves Medical Corps in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn. He was the chief of Emergency Medicine and chief of Clinical Services/Medical Commanding Officer of the 256th Combat Support Hospital in Al-Assad, Iraq. He was been the medical director of the Intensive Care Unit at Olean General Hospital since 2012.
The county coroner determines who a deceased individual was and how, when and where he or she died. If a person’s death is suspected to have been either sudden with unknown cause, violent or unnatural, the coroner may conduct a post-mortem examination and, if necessary, an inquest of the deceased.
In addition to coroner, the county district attorney and sheriff positions wil be on this year's ballot. The incumbents are running unopposed.
District Attorney Lori P. Rieman is running on the Republican, Conservative and Independence lines.Sheriff Timothy S. Whitcomb hs teh backing of the Democratic, Republican, Conservative and Independence parties.