Following DWI arrest, Assemblyman Brian Kolb announces he won’t seek re-election

Politics

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Assemblyman Brian Kolb (R-131) announced Thursday that he will not be seeking re-election this year.

“After a great deal of consideration and discussions with my family, I have decided that I will not seek re-election for the 131st Assembly District this fall,” Kolb said in a statement.

Kolb’s full statement:

Kolb was arrested and charged with DWI on New Years Eve. After the arrest, he stepped down from his position as Assembly Minority Leader, but maintained that he would stay in office.

MORE | Assemblyman Kolb stepping down as Minority Leader after drunk driving arrest

Kolb has since pleaded not guilty, and a special prosecutor has been assigned to his case.

According to police, Kolb blew twice the legal limit on a breathalyzer test. He was driving his state-owned SUV when it slid into a ditch at the end of his driveway in Victor.

According the police report, Kolb initially blamed his wife.

MORE | Assemblyman Brian Kolb blamed wife for DWI crash, per court paperwork

Kolb is the latest local representative in the state legislature to announce he won’t seek re-election this year, as the Rochester region’s delegation will look a lot different in Albany.

On Wednesday, Assemblyman Peter Lawrence (R-134) announced he would not seek re-election.

Lawrence became the third local lawmaker in just the past seven days who won’t re-occupy their currently-held seat, joining David Gantt and newly-appointed Monroe County Clerk Jamie Romeo.

State Senators Rich Funke, and Joseph Robach, both Republicans, also will not seek re-election.

One expert says on the Republican side, it could be indicative of a larger strategy.

“It’s almost like starting from scratch in a lot of these races,” said Tim Kneeland, a political science professor at Nazareth College. “So I think that’s one of those reasons why you’re going to see maybe a little bit of a punt.”

MORE | Why are so many lawmakers not running again? Local expert explains

“Now you’ve got Robach gone, and Funke gone, and you’re trying to retain seats in areas where Democrats already outnumber you by tens of thousands of voters,” added Kneeland.

Kneeland sees a larger effort on part of local Republicans to gear up for 2022, to get more funding and develop their candidates.

Close to eight Republican lawmakers have announced they will not return to their seat. Chris Jacobs, a Western New York Republican, would also leave his seat if he won the special election to replace Chris Collins’ seat in the United States Congress.

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