MAYVILLE - Legislator Vince Horrigan, R-Bemus Point, has announced his candidacy for county executive.
Although Horrigan will not be officially endorsed by the Republican Committee until after May 30, Allan Hendrickson, Chautauqua County Republican Committee chairman, said the committee is not actively seeking additional candidates.
"We went to him," Hendrickson said. "And, you know, he was a little reluctant, because he had retired from the service and then from the Red Cross. But, after serving on the legislature, he wanted to make sure that some of the things they've started are carried through. His heart is in Chautauqua County. So, he said he would be willing to serve."
Horrigan announced his candidacy Wednesday at a Chautauqua County Republican reception at Shorewood Country Club in Dunkirk.
"Over my years of public service in village and County government, I have understood that so many of us come from different viewpoints, but we all want the best for those who live in Chautauqua County," Horrigan said in a news release. "However, we must have a vision for the future to determine how we will solve the challenges that we face in our individual economic circumstances and demographics. Our collective success will require building consensus around efficiency, productivity and economic development."
Horrigan, originally from Ohio, married his high school sweetheart and honeymooned in Chautauqua County. His wife and two children traveled the world with Horrigan while he served in the United States Air Force for 27 years. Horrigan and his wife moved to the county following his retirement from the Air Force 15 years ago.
Following his retirement, Horrigan served as the director of the Red Cross in Chautauqua County. Additionally, he has been a village board member in Bemus Point and is currently serving as a county legislator.
Upon announcing his candidacy, Horrigan said he has received an outpouring of support through numerous phone calls and emails.
"When the current county executive, Greg Edwards, announced that he was not going to seek another term, of course so many of us had to reflect on who would be the right candidate to replace him," Horrigan told The Post-Journal. "The county executive position is absolutely crucial. We have a lot of issues. And, at the same time that we were wondering, I received a significant number of phone calls and emails, urging me to run."
Previously, Horrigan said he never had the intention to run for the position. However, after reflecting on the opportunity, he said he realized he is in good health and cares deeply about the county, and is ready, eager and willing to fill the vacancy which will be left open by Edwards in January.
"Throughout my life, I've had broad experience in leadership positions, dealing with issues both in times of what I'll call normal operations, in crisis and had to make significant leadership decisions," Horrigan said. "I've dealt with government issues, and the challenges of taxes and services. I became very involved, and I care very deeply about some of the issues. I want to try to do my best to make a difference, to kind of overcome cynicism that sometimes is the way with some of our elected officials, and I want to be able to make decisions that are in the best interest of the people of Chautauqua County."