Edward Ra, Republican candidate for New York State Assembly 19th...

Edward Ra, Republican candidate for New York State Assembly 19th District, poses for a portrait at Nassau GOP headquarters on Monday, June 20, 2016 -- slVOTE -- Credit: James Escher

ALBANY — Assemb. Edward Ra (R-Franklin Square) has been elevated to the No. 3 post in the Assembly Republican conference, giving him a prominent role in the upcoming 2018 legislative session.

Ra, about to begin his eighth year in office, was named assistant minority leader pro tempore by Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb (R-Canandaigua), the third-highest post in the GOP conference. In practical terms, Ra’s new position makes him one of the two Republicans who will lead the party’s debates against Democrats when bills are voted on in the chamber.

It’s a step up for Ra, 36, who previously was the ranking Republican on the Assembly Education Committee where he helped lead the party’s opposition to the Common Core academic standards.

Kolb, in making the appointment, said of Ra: “His unwavering tenacity and deep understanding of an array legislative issues will serve our conference well in his newly appointed role.”

The GOP shuffled its leadership posts because of the departure of another Long Island Republican.

Assemb. Tom McKevitt (R-East Meadow) had held the No. 2 post (minority leader pro tempore) in the GOP conference but this fall he won a seat in the Nassau County Legislature. With McKevitt leaving, Assemb. Andy Goodell (R-Jamestown) moved up from the No. 3 post to take his spot and Ra succeeded Goodell.

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