(5:45 PM) County Conservatives Back Borrello For Senate Seat

County Executive George Borrello.

Recently resigned State Senator Cathy Young, R-Olean, left a hole in local representation, a hole that the Chautauqua County Conservative Party thinks could best be filled by Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello.

“We need someone who will stand up and fight for the interests and beliefs of the people of the 57th district,” said Anna Wilcox, chairman of the State Conservative Executive Committee. “We need George Borrello.”

After consultation with local Conservative Party members, Borrello was officially endorsed for the vacant state senate seat. As of now, Borrello has not issued public comment about this endorsement.

“We need someone who believes that Catholics, Protestants and people of faith should be respected, not ridiculed,” Wilcox said on behalf of the Conservative Party.

Asked about the endorsement, Borrello said, “Originally I was not interested in it. However, after speaking to several people, including my wife, I gave more serious thought to it. I am concerned about having effective representation for our county and region in the senate.”

Wilcox said Borrello would help fight for the right to own a gun and push for welfare to not be “a permanent lifestyle” for state residents. Other liberal policy proposals, such as Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s calls for children of illegal immigrants to be able to go to New York state universities tuition-free and for recreational marijuana to be legalized.

Wilcox noted that some may be hesitant to lose a sophomore county executive but said that Borrello is the “strongest and best qualified candidate.” Borrello began his work as county executive in 2018 and has since spearheaded initiatives to foster small business success and Chautauqua Lake consensus in the county.

State Assemblyman Andy Goodell, meanwhile, has taken his name out of the running for State Senate.

On Friday, after the Sgt. Jonathan Gollnitz sign dedication, Goodell was asked if he was planning on running for the senate seat being vacated by Cathy Young.

“No I’m not. I like what I’m doing,” he said.

Goodell noted that if he were to run and win Young’s former seat, he would lose his tenure that he has built up during his time in the Assembly.

In order for Borrello to have a shot at the vacant state senate seat, Cuomo would have to call for a special election. Otherwise, the general election will lead to Young’s replacement being instated in 2020.

“It will be a long time before we see the likes of another Cathy Young,” said Wilcox, noting that 14 years of service the former state senator gave to the 57th district.

Follow Eric Zavinski at twitter.com/EZavinski.