Robert W. Whitney, Jr. has announced that he will seek the Chautauqua County Legislative District 15 seat to be vacated by Maria Kindberg at the conclusion of the current term.
Whitney, a Democrat, said he feels he can make a positive contribution to county government.
"With all the state mandates being forced on local government, it's time for fresh ideas and an out-of-the-box approach," Whitney said.
Pleased that the legislature finally passed a measure that may lead to a reduction in its size, Whitney said he believes that downsizing government is a move in the right direction.
"The county faces many challenges, both fiscal and philosophical," Whitney said. "I would like to play a role in exploring possible solutions. My wife and I are dedicated to our community, and I believe I can have a positive impact."
Whitney is a graduate of Jamestown High School and Jamestown Community College. He is a member of IBEW Local 106 for which he currently serves as president. As president, he is a trustee for the pension, health, annuity and apprenticeship funds.
"I understand the current struggle between private- and public-sector demands," he said. "But I don't believe the relationship needs to be an adversarial one. We can find ways to work together for the betterment of Chautauqua County."
For the past 11 years, Mr. Whitney coached Jamestown City Rec baseball, an organization in which his four children all participated. He is presently on the Jamestown Area Midget Football League and serves as league treasurer. In addition, he serves as one of the vice presidents of the Jamestown Babe Ruth League for which he oversees the 13-15-year-old program.
Whitney and his family are members of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church. Through his church, Whitney has participated in four mission trips including one to New Orleans to assist with Hurricane Katrina cleanup. He and his wife, Darcy, and their children reside on the west side of Jamestown.
Kindberg's District 15 seat is one of only four legislature seats currently known to be opening up in the coming fall election. Almost all of the other 21 sitting legislators have committed to re-running for their seats. The other known seats opening up are those of John Gullo, D-Fredonia; Doug Richmond, R-Westfield, and Dick Babbage, R-Findley Lake. The only other known challenger to have announced his candidacy for a legislature seat is Vince Horrigan, who is running as the Republican candidate for Dick Babbage's District 17 seat in Findley Lake.