Ortt wants to be next Republican leader in State Senate
John Flanagan, the leader of the Republican conference in the State Senate, will resign later this month to take a job in the private sector.
Rob Ortt of North Tonawanda wants to succeed Flanagan and become the minority leader of the Senate.
“Now more than ever, the Senate Republican conference needs a battle-tested, conservative fighter,” Ortt said in a statement today. “There are some who are comfortable with the status quo and letting the governor and radical New York City regressives speak for all New Yorkers. I’m not one of them. Our country, our state, and our party are worth fighting for. I look forward to making the case to my colleagues of how I can lead our conference forward.”
Ortt represents the 62nd Senate District which includes Orleans, Niagara and the western part of Monroe counties.
He has been a state senator for about 5 ½ years. Before that he was North Tonawanda mayor. He enlisted in NY Army National Guard in October 2001 and did a tour in Afghanistan from March 2008 until December 2008.
Another state senator from Western New York also wants to lead the Republican conference, which was in the majority until the November 2018 election. Democrats now have 40 of the 63 seats.
Pat Gallivan, the former Erie County sheriff, wants to succeed Flanagan.
“One party control in Albany has given New York State more spending, made it more difficult to do business and has made our communities less safe,” Gallivan of Elma said ina statement today. “Further, one-party control has resulted in the loss of the checks and balances intended in the New York State Constitution.
“We must take back the legislative authority ceded by the current majority to ensure that all New Yorkers have a voice in their government. We start by taking back the Senate majority. We start by respecting all New Yorkers and every region of the state. We start by respecting employees and employers alike.
“I intend to seek the support of my colleagues in the Senate minority conference to serve as their leader as we work to put New York on a better path.”
One state senator has already come out in support of Ortt.
Phil Boyle of Long Island released the following statement:
“I know Rob will serve our conference the same way he served our country – with passion and integrity,” Boyle said. “Our party and our conference is at a crossroads where we can continue the failed strategies of the past or we can fight for our future. Rob knows what it means to stand up and lead and that’s exactly what we need right now.”