Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb plans to run for governor

Assembly GOP leader Brian Kolb announces run for governor

Upstate Republican Brian Kolb says he will run for NY governor next year.

Kolb's platform for Governor is to lower taxes, create jobs, and end corruption. Kolb had just more than $255,000 in his Assembly campaign account.

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren, D, believes Upstate already has that partner in Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Other bills he carried this year include legislation that would limit the amount of time a lawmaker can serve as a legislative leader, reform the constitutional convention process (which he supported, breaking ranks with a number of lawmakers) and allow licensed firearm owners living outside of NY to concealed carry their guns in the Empire State.

Kolb bills himself as a small businessman and community leader. And Kolb says the governor, who has been speaking out more often on the national stage lately, may be too distracted by a desire to run for President in 2020 to effectively govern the state. He says Cuomo's "extreme rhetoric" is helping no one and that in light of recent corruption and scandals, the state has "a long way to go to increase transparency and accountability".

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Kolb and other candidates who emerge are likely to focus on ethics.

But Kolb has faced scrutiny in the Legislature.

In 2004, a lawsuit centering on then-Speaker Sheldon Silver's handling of sexual harassment sought documents regarding complaints against Kolb and another member. "I'm running for governor because I believe New York's greatest days are ahead of us and, with the right leadership, we can make that happen now". The party's 2014 candidate, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, decided not to run again after losing his re-election effort this year. Still, he didn't dispel the idea of a potential primary.

Kolb said he wanted to declare his candidacy now and start to try to build support among GOP leaders in advance of the party's nominating convention in May.

"We will be working collaboratively with our county chairs over the coming weeks and months to put together the statewide ticket that will turn our state around", he said.

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