MANCHESTER — It didn’t take long for Republican leaders to line up behind a candidate for the 131st District seat in the state Assembly.
Manchester Town Supervisor Jeff Gallahan announced Friday he is running for the position currently held by Brian Kolb. Kolb announced Thursday he would not seek another term, a few weeks after he was charged with driving while intoxicated.
“Over the last year we have seen the consequences of one party, progressive control over our state government,” Gallahan said in a press release issued Friday. “From bail reform to bag bans, (Gov. Andrew) Cuomo and the Albany progressives are failing us. It’s time to stand up for upstate and I look forward to fighting side by side with Sen. (Pam) Helming for the values we share. Out of touch politicians are turning the Empire State into an empty state. It’s time to start New York’s comeback, and that begins with sending new people with real world experience to Albany.”
Gallahan, who has served as Manchester’s supervisor for 15 years, has received the endorsement of prominent county Republicans, including Helming.
“Jeff and I served together on the Ontario County Board of Supervisors,” Helming said. “He is someone who truly cares about the people he represents. As a father, grandfather and small business owner , he understands the important issues and challenges we face. He will be a great partner in our fight to preserve and protect upstate values. Jeff is a leader who builds consensus and gets the job done. We need more people like him in Albany and I look forward to working with him when he is elected.”
“(Gallahan) knows what it means to truly be a servant leader,” Ontario County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jack Marren of Victor said. “He is respected by those who have the privilege to work with him everyday. He is a leader, not a career politician. We can count on him to fight for the issues we can about in Albany.”
“As Ontario County treasurer, I work with Jeff to ensure that our tax dollars are safeguarded. He takes his responsibilities very seriously,” county Treasurer and Geneva resident Gary Baxter said. “As a former police officer and volunteer firefighter, I appreciate Jeff Gallahan’s support for our first responders. We need leaders like him who won’t be afraid to speak out and support our brave first responders.”
Gregory Bendzlowicz, an at-large county supervisor who represents Wards 5 and 6 in the city of Geneva, is endorsing Gallahan too.
“I have had the honor of working with Jeff Gallahan on the Ontario County Board of Supervisors in several different capacities over the last six years, and I fully support Jeff Gallahan in his run for New York State Assembly,” he said. “Jeff has the right combination of business, administrative, finance and political experience making him the ideal candidate to represent our district in New York State. In addition, Jeff has the integrity, credibility and reputation needed in Albany.”
Callahan and his wife, Lynn, own CR7 Catering & Food Trailer in Shortsville. For the last 30 years, Gallahan has worked in industrial and cutting-tool sales.
A longtime community volunteer, he founded the Red Jacket High School Clay Target League. For 27 years, he has served on the Clifton Springs Area YMCA Board of Directors. Gallahan also serves on the Ontario County Shooters Committee On Political Education Board of Directors, and he is a life member of the NRA.
Gallahan said he is seeking the support and endorsement of the Republican, Conservative and Independence parties.
In addition to the aforementioned individuals, Gallahan has been endorsed by the following Republican leaders: Matt Hoose, Ontario County clerk; Peter Ingalsbe, Farmington supervisor; Todd Campbell, West Bloomfield supervisor; Frederick Lightfoote, Gorham supervisor; Frederick Wille, East Bloomfield supervisor; Tamara Hicks, Naples supervisor; Cathy Menikotz, Canandaigua supervisor; Kris Singer, Canadice supervisor; Norman Teed, Phelps supervisor; Chris Catt, first vice chairman, Ontario County Republican Committee and Victor town chairman; Bonnie Lew, chairwoman, Farmington Republican Committee; Yvonne Chavez, chairwoman, Canandaigua town Republican Committee; Jeff Trickey, chairman, Hopewell Republican Committee; Tim Maher, chairman, Ontario County SCOPE; and John Hicks, former county administrator and former DEC regional director.
It’s unclear if other Republicans are interested in the seat.
On the Democratic side, Matt Miller of Canandaigua is the only announced candidate at this time.