Hawley won’t pursue post as Assembly Republican leader

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 January 2020 at 7:23 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: Brian Kolb speaks at the Orleans County Republican Rally on Oct. 19, 2017.

State Assemblyman Steve Hawley, R-Batavia, announced today he won’t be pursing the vacant Assembly minority position.

Brian Kolb has been the Republican leader in the Assembly the past decade. He announced on Friday he is resigned from the leadership post after he was charged with driving while intoxicated on New Year’s Eve.

“After discussions with family, friends and colleagues, I have decided not to explore a potential run to become the next Assembly Minority Leader,” Hawley said in a statement this afternoon.  “I sincerely appreciate all of the support and consideration I’ve received over the last few days.”

Hawley was elected to the Assembly in a special election to the 139th District on Feb. 28, 2006. He said he will support the current deputy minority leader, Will Barclay, to succeed Kolb. Barclay is from Pulaski, Oswego County.

“For our conference and constituents, it is important that Assembly Republicans begin the new year and new legislative session as a unified force,” Hawley said. “Even in the midst of change, our resolve and commitment must remain strong as we develop solutions for our constituents and fight back a liberal agenda that threatens our great state.”

Kolb issued this statement about his resignation:

“As Leader of the Assembly Minority Conference, I have always tried to put the needs and best interests of our Conference ahead of my own. That is why I have decided to step down as Minority Leader.

“I have a profound respect for each and every one of my colleagues, and sincerely admire their daily efforts on behalf of constituents and communities in every corner of the state. But I will not allow my own personal challenges to distract from the goals, message, and mission of the Assembly Minority Conference. With a new year and new legislative session ahead, the work of our Conference cannot be undermined or deterred in any way.

“I will be forever grateful for the confidence my colleagues have placed in me for the past 10 years. But in my heart, I know that this is the right time for a new leader to step in and advance an agenda that benefits all New Yorkers.

“The events of December 31 are ones I will always deeply regret. On a personal level, I have begun the process of seeking professional help in order to heal, learn, and fully address the challenges that I, along with my family, currently face.”

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