MAYVILLE, NY (WNY News Now) – Two new lawmakers joined Chautauqua County’s Legislature this week, filling vacancies created by two retirees.
Democrat Tom Nelson and Republican Travis Heiser were sworn-in during Tuesday’s organizational meeting.
Nelson fills the shoes of Paul Whitford representing District 13 in the City of Jamestown. The new legislator has been a U.S. History and Government teacher with Frewsburg Central School for 30 years.
He also previously served on Jamestown’s City Council from 2015 to 2021.
“I believe in a little bit of the old-fashioned getting out there and knocking on doors and talking to people face to face,” explained Nelson. “And I’m going to try to be a little bit more progressive with Facebook and other social media, I think that can make a difference. But you really gotta get out meet people in your district or ward face to face.”
Travis Heiser, meanwhile, is currently the CEO of the Inner Lakes Federal Credit Union and was the Town of Clymer Supervisor for the past seven years.
“I knew Jay Gould, who I am replacing, a little bit beforehand and had a kind of an inkling and knew that the committees were looking for when he was eventually going to resign,” said Heiser. “And so, they did come knocking at the door and it wasn’t totally unexpected and I did say yes.”
Heiser will be serving on the Public Facilities Committee, while Nelson will serve on the Public Safety Committee. Both new legislators plan to run for a full two-year term on the Legislature in the November General Election.