Last November, I was proud to play a pivotal role in helping Republicans regain the majority in the New York State Senate, not for any political gain but because I believe it re-established a strong voice for Upstate New York within state government.
As part of the transition to the majority, I am now the third-ranking member in the Senate and the highest ranking Senator from Western New York since the days of one of my heroes, Senator Earl Brydges. It is from this post, and the influence that comes with it, that I can have the greatest impact for our community. That is why I have notified Majority Leader Dean Skelos that I am declining to run for a seat in the House of Representatives.
As the leader of the Western New York delegation, I am focused on the issues that matter to me, my constituents and the region as a whole. I believe that issues such as creating jobs, enacting a property tax cap, implementing UB 2020 and getting a better deal from the New York Power Authority are best addressed if I'm in Albany. While the thought of serving in Congress is certainly appealing, these issues take priority over that.
I thank my family for their tremendous support while I deliberated and I appreciate all the encouragement I have received, from those telling me to run to those saying the region needs me in Albany. Now, it's time to focus on the job at hand.