Brian Kolb in for Governor

In a move that many have been anticipating for some time, especially considering indications from the man himself, Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb has announced he will run for Governor in 2018, becoming the first major declared Republican candidate to do so. Kolb, definitely a long shot to assume power on the second floor of the Capitol come January 2019, looks to be opposed in a primary (that many party officials are looking to avoid) by Harry Wilson, who has raised a considerable sum. Wilson, on his part, has not definitively decided to run as of yet, and it will bear telling whether or not Kolb’s announcement will preclude him from doing so.

As in regards to the legislature, it should be interesting to see what consequences, if any, this move will have for the Assembly Minority. If Kolb were to depart, it would create a Minority Leader vacuum in a position he has filled for nearly a decade. Of the current minority leadership, Assemblyman Tom McKevitt will be leaving for the Nassau County Legislature and Assemblyman Marc Butler will be retiring, so a leadership shuffle is already afoot. While it’s too early to gauge any interest in the post (if there will even be a vacancy), one cannot help but speculate which conference members will contend for the position.

quick late august roundup: Dems, Lyme, Monserrate

Not much happening in the State Capitol on a late August day as one could imagine – the weather felt something more like early October weather and a handful of members were seen around the building – that said, here’s a few highlights:

  • Senator Jamaal Bailey released a statement on Twitter today in favor of discovery reform. One might wonder from reading this if it’s a lone random August statement from a member of the minority on an issue close to him, or if it portends Democratic Conference priorities for 2018. Raise the Age was, arguably, the top priority of the Democrats in both houses last year, so they may continue to focus on criminal justice reform as their top issue next session.
  • The Senate Health Committee and Task Force on Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases held a hearing in town today, bringing some members to the Legislative Office Building. Health Commissioner Howard Zucker said at the hearing that a rare tick-borne disease called the Powassan virus has been found in the State. Senator Jim Tedisco blogged about the hearing and the issue as a whole in the Times Union.
  • The infamous former Senator Hiram Monserrate received some coverage about his City Council candidacy in the New York Post.
  • The New York Times ran a piece on the influence of the primarily upstate-based Senate on the MTA’s woes. The Times gets some good quotes from various members, including Senator Carl Marcellino, and discusses the dynamics involved.