MAYVILLE – Chautauqua County County Executive George Borrello (R-Irving) confirms that he is hoping to be the area’s next representative in the New York State Senator.
On Thursday morning WRFA talked with Borrello during an appearance at Jamestown Community College. Borrello said that he was pleased to learn he has received the endorsement of the Chautauqua County Republican and Conservative Party Committees in being their candidate in a special election for the recently vacated 57th senate district.
“I’m certainly very proud to have the endorsement of our Chautauqua County Republican Committee,” Borrello said. “There are other steps to take and there are three other counties involved besides Chautauqua County, so we’ll move through that process.”
The three other counties involved include Cattaraugus, Allegany and Livinston Counties. In a special election to fill the remainder of a term of a vacated legislature seat, the county committees for each party within the legislative district are required to agree to a candidate with a weighted vote taking place if more than one name is being considered. But with Chautauqua County containing nearly 50 percent of all registered Republicans in the district, it appears Borrello is a near certainty to secure a district-wide endorsement.
Borrello, who is a also former Chautauqua County Legislator, is only in his second year County Executive. He admits he was reluctant to consider the Senate opening, but eventually decided to pursue it for a number of reasons.
“I felt the sense of duty that we need good representation in Albany for Chautauqua County and the rest of the district,” Borrello said. “Although I was reluctant to jump in because of everything we have going on here as county executive, after talking to a lot of people including my wife, I really decided that for us to push forward with so many initiatives that are already in the works – things like the Ripley Gateway Center, or the hops and barley coop, or all the things going on around Chautauqua Lake to improve the water quality – those require strong, persistent diligent advocacy by our state representatives. Cathy Young did a fantastic job. She leaves a tremendous hole and big shoes to fill, so we need somebody there who is going to have the energy, drive, and commitment to advance those projects and everything else that is important to the people of the 57th District.”
Making the path easier for Borrello on the Republican side is the fact that the region’s two Republican Assembly members – Andrew Goodell (R-Ellicott) of Chautauqua County and Joe Giglio of Cattaraugus County – have both reportedly announced they will not run for that seat.
Meanwhile on the Democratic side, Lakewood resident and past Senate candidate Nancy Bargar announced via email on Thursday afternoon she was withdrawing from the race. Chautauqua County Democratic Committee chair Norman Green tells WRFA they will likely announce their endorsement for the Senate seat next week.
The senate seat was vacated by Cathy Young (R-Olean) at the start of this week. She announced at the end of last month she was leaving the Senate to take a job at Cornell University. Prior to her departure she had served in the Senate for 15 years and prior to that in the State Assembly.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has the option of scheduling a date for when the special election will take place. If he opts to not schedule a date, it will automatically occur during the November General Election. The winner will serve the remainder of the current term, which ends December 31, 2020.
Meanwhile, as the district waits for a new Senator to be voted on to fill the district’s vacated senate seat, residents across the region are left without a representative in the State legislature’s upper chamber.
Despite the absence, 57th Senate District Administrative Assistant Lisa Vanstrom tells WRFA that the district offices are still staffed and anyone seeking help or assistance is still encouraged to call.
She also said that for questions involving legislation – local residents in Chautauqua County should contact via email Assemblyman Goodell.