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.