MANCHESTER β€” Republican state Assembly candidate Jeff Gallahan has picked up the endorsement of the New York State Independence Party.

Gallahan, who serves as Manchester town supervisor, is vying for the 131st Assembly District seat held by Brian Kolb. Kolb announced last week he is not seeking another term after two decades in the office.

β€œNow more than ever, we need strong independent leaders in Albany who will fight for the values we as taxpayers share,” Frank MacKay, the party’s state chairman, said in a press release. β€œJeff has the experience and drive to make a difference. He has an organized campaign and is ready to take on this challenge and be a strong, independent voice fighting for the issues that matter.”

β€œI am proud to have the support and endorsement of the Independence Party,” Gallahan said. β€œWe need to come together and fight for the future of our communities and upstate New York. As a small business owner and local elected official, I want to put my experience to work for the taxpayers and make Albany listen. We have a lot of work to do between now and November, but together we will get the job done for the people of Seneca and Ontario counties.”

The Independence Party said on its website that it is β€œcomprised of reform-minded individuals from across the political spectrum. We support a variety of candidates from different political views who are committee to good government β€” and those who can look past political party labels and govern with common sense.”

Gallahan announced last Friday β€” one day after Kolb said he would not seek another term β€” that he was running for the seat. A host of prominent Republicans in Ontario County β€” from State Sen. Pam Helming to Board of Supervisors Chairman Jack Marren β€” almost immediately announced they were supporting his candidacy.

The only other Republican seeking the GOP nomination at this point is Jeff Shipley, president and CEO of the Seneca County Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Board of Directors of the Seneca County Industrial Development Agency.

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