Yates and Seneca County Republicans are first to formally endorse Kolb for governor

CANANDAIGUA — Brian Kolb has a long way to go to reach the governor’s mansion. Think Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s $30 million war chest versus Kolb’s $220,000, for one.

But as county Republican committees begin their first meetings of the new year, endorsing a candidate for governor is on the list. This past week, the Yates County GOP became the first to formally endorse Kolb, the Assembly minority leader from Canandaigua. In Ontario County, Trisha Turner, head of that county GOP, said Monday Seneca County Republicans also just endorsed Kolb. The Ontario County GOP is scheduled to meet at the end of the month, she said.

Kolb was the first Republican to announce his bid for the governor’s seat back in early December. Cuomo, a Democrat, is seeking a third term. More recently, other Republicans have emerged to challenge Cuomo. Those include former Erie County Executive Joel Giambra, who had made a formal announcement. Those expressing interest include Senate Deputy Majority Leader John DeFrancisco, a Republican from the Syracuse area.

In Yates County, GOP Chair Sandy King said Kolb was unanimously endorsed through a straw poll after discussion about the slate of Republican candidates.

“Assemblyman Kolb represents our Republican values,” stated King. “He is well known to the citizens of Yates County and has the experience, policy knowledge, drive and tenacity to campaign against and ultimately defeat Andrew Cuomo and become the next governor of New York State.”

Specifically, King identified Kolb as a “strong supporter” of Second Amendment rights who will address state government spending and work toward repealing state mandates, lowering taxes, promoting a business-friendly environment and tackling corruption.

A member of the Assembly since February 2000, Kolb was elected Minority Leader in 2009. His 131st Assembly District includes all of Ontario County and portions of Seneca County.

A Honeoye native and former Richmond town supervisor on the Ontario County Board of Supervisors, Kolb co-founded North American Filter Corp. and is former president/COO of Refractron Technologies Corp., both in Newark, Wayne County. Kolb states his priorities as growing the state’s economy through job creation, cutting property taxes and ending political corruption.

According to the New York State Board of Elections, as of Jan. 22, Kolb’s campaign balance was $220,425. He had $42,387 in contributions and had spent $77,137.

Cuomo, with nearly $30.5 million, received $5,887,199 in contributions and spent $1,229,312.

Giambra sits on a balance of $227,850, having spent $18,675 but taking in no contributions.

Kolb has said he isn’t deterred by Cuomo’s millions. Giambra, in an interview with The Buffalo News, said: “When candidates and elected officials need to raise obscene amounts of money, they are compromised. Let’s shine a light on it, let’s call it what it is and let’s fix it.”