MAYVILLE – Two of Chautauqua County’s top elected officials rang in the new year with private swearing-in ceremonies on Friday.
Adhering to COVID-19 gathering restrictions, Chautauqua County Executive PJ Wendel and newly elected District Attorney Jason Schmidt were sworn into office.
Wendel was sworn in virtually by Chautauqua County Surrogate’s Court Judge Stephen Cass, the first ceremony of its kind locally.
Wendel, a Lakewood Republican and former county legislature chairman, won 72 percent of the vote during a special election in November to fill the final year of former County Executive George Borrello’s term.
He was previously appointed as interim county executive in January after Borrello was elected as state senator. This is the first time in county history as person was appointed by the Legislature to the seat.
Wendel will have to run for re-election again in November to secure a full, four-year term.
Meanwhile, Schmidt, a Fredonia Republican, bested District Attorney Patrick Swanson by 10,000 votes on election night during a rematch of a pervious 2016 election for the job.
Schmidt’s platform centered on putting “victims first” and connecting with law enforcement around the county.
The Chautauqua County Legislature is scheduled to meet on Monday, swearing in District 10 Busti Republican Legislator Ken Lawton and District 1 Dunkirk Republican legislator Kevin Muldowney who won in special elections.