JAMESTOWN – Bemus Point republican Vince Horrigan will be Chautauqua County’s next County Executive.
On Election Day 2013, Horrigan picked up over 54 percent of the vote to defeat Fredonia Democrat Ron Johnson. The unofficial vote total was 13,858 for Horrigan and 10,926 for Johnson. A total of 1999 absentee and affidavit ballots are still waiting to be counted.
Following his victory, Horrigan thanked the voters of Chautauqua County for choosing him to be the county’s next top executive.
“It’s an absolute, incredible feeling,” Horrigan told WRFA. “I’m in the footsteps of the people that have gone before and so we will be building on the successes that we’ve had. We have challenges, but after talking with people in this county, businesses all over the county, I’m confident that we will be able to move ourselves forward to a period of growth.”
As for his future plans as County Executive, Horrigan said he will stick with his pledge of working toward leaner government, which includes the ongoing effort to privatize the Chautauqua County Home in Dunkirk.
“If we’re going to grow this county, we cannot be burdened by those things that can be done better in the private sector,” Horrigan said. “This is an opportunity. An opportunity to save the county home, to grow jobs and to add to the tax base. This is not a loss by any means, it is an opportunity. With that said, we will determine the best way to move forward with that and I’m excited about [tonight’s GOP victories], but I’m also excited to be working with our democratic folks from across the aisle.”
Horrigan said he also wants to work on helping residents in the county become more self-sufficient while also creating new jobs working with existing businesses.
Horrigan will be replacing outgoing county Executive Greg Edwards, who announced earlier this year he would not be seeking reelection for a third term. Edwards has said he plans to step down from his post on Nov. 18 and will likely appoint Horrigan as his interim replacement. If that happens, Horrigan would have less than two week to prepare. As a result, he said he’s already put together a transition team to help get him ready.
“I won’t prejudge the interim position or how Greg will [make his selection], but I will tell you that I will have a transition team picked out. We’ll do some analysis of what our strengths are, what are weaknesses are, and where our opportunities are, and then we’ll put together the right team moving forward and make sure we have the right strategies in place to executive my vision.”
Horrigan is currently serving as a county legislator, representing the Town of Ellery. He had previously served as the Executive Director of the Southeastern NY Chapter of the American Red Cross.