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Add Kolb to list of potential GOP gubernatorial candidates

Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb has hinted he

Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb has hinted he may join the race for governor. Credit: Hans Pennink

ALBANY — Add Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb to the growing list of Republicans thinking about a gubernatorial run in 2018.

Kolb (R-Canandaigua) told the Auburn Citizen he is giving it “serious thought.”

“I think I could be a great governor,” Kolb, 65, told the newspaper. “Having said that, you have to get elected and the first step is can you have the support of the party statewide? Can you raise enough funds to support a credible campaign?”

Kolb, since 2000, has represented a district located south and east of Rochester and is the longest tenured conference leader in the State Legislature, winning an internal battle in 2009 to take over the Assembly Republicans.

Though the post gives him little influence over budget lawmaking, Kolb has used it as a bully pulpit to frequently question state spending, especially Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s economic-development projects (several of which are now the subject of a federal indictment).

Kolb joins a roll call of Republicans who say they are considering running, including Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-East Northport), Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino (the party’s 2014 candidate), Carl Paladino (the party’s 2010 candidate), Sen. John DeFrancisco, former hedge-fund manager Harry Wilson and Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro.

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