For Release: IMMEDIATELY, January 4, 2011
Contact: Joshua Fitzpatrick (518) 455-3751
Leader Brian Kolb & Assembly Minority Conference Welcome Historic 17 New Members
Victors of November elections sworn in at Albany ceremony

Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,I,C-Canandaigua) and his colleagues today proudly welcomed a historic 17 new Assembly Minority Conference members at a public swearing-in ceremony at the Legislative Office Building in Albany. The Hon. Craig J. Doran, Acting New York Supreme Court Justice, presided over the event.

2010 marked the first time since 1994 that minority challenger candidates defeated sitting Members of the Assembly Majority in the general election. The 2010 elections also marked the largest "flip" in Assembly Members since the early 1970s. All new state legislators took their official oaths of office this afternoon surrounded by friends and family members. A complete list of the 17 new Assembly Minority Conference members is attached to this press release.

“I am proud to welcome the 17 victors of the historic 2010 elections who will be strong new voices for reform and good government to Albany today. These fine public servants will carry on our Conference’s proud tradition of standing up for New York’s taxpayers in the ‘People’s House’,” Kolb said. “With our state facing some of its toughest challenges in a generation, we must work together in a non-partisan fashion to find real solutions that will restore fiscal accountability, deliver real tax relief, reduce the size, cost and reach of government, grow New York’s private sector and extend opportunity and prosperity to all our citizens.”

Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush (R,C-Black River) is a veteran of the US Air Force and a former Chairman of the Jefferson County Board of Legislators. He also is a proud owner of BEL Associates. The 122nd AD includes Lewis County and parts of Oswego, Saint Lawrence and Jefferson counties. “I am privileged to be elected by those in the 122nd Assembly District,” Blankenbush said. “We need to make government more fiscally responsible, elections more equitable, invest in job creation, strengthen education, and promote the North Country’s agricultural heritage. This is critical in getting big government off our backs and working with residents, not against them.”

Assemblyman John D. Ceretto (R,I-Lewiston) served as a Lewiston Town Councilman and a Niagara County Legislator. The 138th AD includes part of Niagara County. “It is an honor to serve the constituents of the 138th Assembly District in Albany,” Ceretto said. “During my time as a Lewiston Town Councilman and Niagara County Legislator, I reduced taxes and reduced the size of government. I intend to do the same as an Assembly Member, restoring the economy and business climate of the great State of New York.”

Assemblyman Brian Curran (R,C,I,Tax Revolt-Lynbrook) has served as a public prosecutor and trial attorney. He also is the former mayor of Lynbrook, NY where he instituted the principles of less spending and smaller government. The 14th AD includes part of Nassau County. “With law as my profession, I have experience in various levels of government and community matters,” Curran said. “As Nassau County Deputy Attorney, I defended the interests of Nassau County taxpayers. I intend to continue fighting for my constituents in the Assembly. I am grateful to be able to serve those in the 14th Assembly District.”

Assemblyman Christopher S. Friend (R-Big Flats) has been a community leader and public servant, serving in the Chemung County Legislature. The 137th AD consists of cities and towns in parts of Schuyler and Chemung counties. “It is a privilege to represent the 137th District in the New York State Assembly,” Friend said. “I felt a strong urge to contribute to the local community so I undertook public service in 2004. In the Assembly, I will be able to continue my passion to make a difference on the state and local levels.”

Assemblyman Andy Goodell (R,C-Chautauqua County) is the managing partner of the law firm of Goodell & Rankin in Jamestown, New York. Previously, he served as the Chautauqua County Executive for eight years. The 150th AD includes most of Chautauqua County. “I am honored to serve the constituents of the 150th Assembly District,” Goodell said. "I intend to work for legislation that will cut State and local taxes by reforming Medicaid, reducing State mandates, and reforming the State pension system. I also intend to work tirelessly to serve Chautauqua County residents in Albany.”

Assemblyman Alfred C. Graf (R-Holbrook) is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and the New York City Police Department. The 5th AD includes parts of the towns of Islip and Brookhaven. “I am truly grateful to serve the residents of the 5th Assembly District,” Graf said. “My family can trace its roots on Long Island back to 1783 and I would like to see future generations able to afford to continue living on Long Island. I will fight in the Assembly to enact a property tax cap, a repeal of the MTA tax and put a stop to unfunded mandates so living in New York can become more affordable.”

Assemblyman Sean T. Hanna (R,C,I – Mendon) previously served as the Deputy Majority Leader of the Monroe County Legislature and as the Regional Director for the Department of Environmental Conservation. Hanna also had previously joined the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office, where he served as an Assistant District Attorney and felony trial prosecutor for six years. The 130th AD includes portions of Livingston, Monroe and Ontario counties. “I am committed to capping spending and stimulating economic growth in my district and statewide,” Hanna said. “A well-rounded approach is needed to turn our state around and make it an affordable place to live and work. It is an honor and a privilege to represent the 130th Assembly District.”

Before his election to the Assembly, Assemblyman Mark Johns (R,C-Webster) worked for the Monroe County Department of Public Health in the field of Environmental Health and as a Webster Town Board Member. The 135th AD encompasses Eastern Monroe County. “I am pleased to become the representative of the 135th Assembly District,” Johns said. “It is a great opportunity to make a difference and enhance the lives of my constituents. I will fight to cap and cut spending, prevent crime, reform the state pension system and make the legislature more representative to the people.”

Assemblyman Steve Katz (R,I-Yorktown) has been a veterinarian in private practice for 21 years. The 99th AD includes parts of Dutchess, Putnam and Westchester counties. “I am honored to be elected to serve the constituents of the 99th Assembly District,” Katz said. “I pledge, as my duty in the Assembly to my constituents, to lead the fight to cap spending, bring about reform in the legislature and to protect family values. We need to lead our state in the right direction.”

Assemblyman Daniel P. Losquadro (R,C-Shoreham) is the former Minority Leader for the Suffolk County Legislature. The 1st AD includes the towns of Riverhead, Southold, Shelter Island and part of Brookhaven. “I am committed to passing a balanced state budget, lowering taxes, preserving open space, protecting the environment and keeping our communities safe,” Losquadro said. “I do not want to represent the government to the people; I want to represent the people to the government. I am humbled by the opportunity the residents of the 1st Assembly District have given me.”

Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R,C-Staten Island, Brooklyn) worked as a liaison for the late Senator John Marchi and Governor George Pataki. The 60th AD includes the east shore of Staten Island and Bay Ridge in Brooklyn. “I am honored to represent the residents of Brooklyn and Staten Island in the State Assembly,” Malliotakis said. “I am committed to being the strong and independent voice they deserve and will work each and every day to improve their quality of life, revitalize New York’s economy, and spur job growth.”

Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin (R,C-Melrose) is a former commercial pilot who currently works for a Capital Region bank, providing small businesses with the resources they need to grow. The 108th AD encompasses parts of Rensselaer, Albany, Columbia and Greene counties. “I am honored to be sworn-in to the Assembly and view this moment as the culmination of an election season that illustrated voters’ demand for change and reform. I will work tirelessly to deliver the types of policies that promote a more transparent, accountable and affordable state government. This year will mark a turning point in the direction of our state and I am proud to be part of that effort.”

Assemblyman Don Miller (121st Assembly District) is certified as a Highly Qualified Teacher in secondary Social Studies. He currently works as the Quality Manager at JADAK LLC, a high-tech engineering firm servicing the healthcare industry. The 121st AD encompasses the towns of Cicero, Clay, Manlius, LaFayette and Pompey in Onondaga County. “Representing the constituents of the 121st Assembly District will be a great honor,” Miller said. “I strongly believe that we need a constitutional spending cap, a zero-growth property tax cap, unfunded mandate relief, and term limits in order to create a new day for New York.”

Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (136th Assembly District) has served as an active community leader in the Corning area while serving as a legislative aide to state and federal lawmakers. The 136th AD consists of all of Steuben and Yates counties. “I’ve met with families, small-business owners and farmers,” Palmesano said, referring to his time spent this year on the campaign trail, “and they’re all making sacrifices and difficult decisions every day. It’s time for state government to make difficult decisions in order to create a better state in which to live and work.”

Assemblyman Ed Ra (21st District) has worked as Deputy Town Attorney for the Town of Hempstead and with the Office of the New York State Attorney General. The 21st AD includes part of Nassau County. "If there is one thing I heard while knocking on doors during this election it was the fact that people are hurting and are looking for real solutions – not a lot of talk,” Ra said. “They want action. Our job has to be to focus on jobs, cutting taxes and revitalizing our communities. It's as simple as that."

While working as Councilman to the Hamburg Town Board, Assemblyman Kevin Smardz (R,I-Hamburg) has demonstrated the ability to cut taxes and provide local job growth. The 146th Assembly District consists of most of southern Erie County. “I am humbled at the opportunity to represent the 146th Assembly District,” Smardz said. “I will be fighting for lower taxes, eliminating wasteful spending and promoting an overall positive business atmosphere as well as supporting UB2020 legislation.”

Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney (R,C,I-New Hartford) maintains an active law practice and numerous business ventures in Central New York. The 115th AD is comprised of parts of Oswego and Oneida counties. “My experience as legal counsel and chief of staff to former Assemblyman Townsend will enable me to continue to serve the constituents of the 115th Assembly District with an in-depth understanding of the major issues,” Tenney said. “Albany is in need of real reform and I plan on fighting for legislation that will include mandate relief, term limits and a spending cap that will enable New York to lower its onerous tax burden."

The 17 new Assembly Minority Conference Members are:

Ken Blankenbush representing the 122nd District;
John D. Ceretto, representing the 138th District;
Brian Curran, representing the 14th District;
Christopher S. Friend, representing the 137th District;
Andy Goodell, representing the 150th District;
Alfred C. Graf, representing the 5th District;
Sean T. Hanna, representing the 130th District;
Mark Johns, representing the 135th District;
Steve Katz, representing the 99th District;
Daniel P. Losquadro, representing the 1st District;
Nicole Malliotakis, representing the 60th District;
Steve McLaughlin, representing the 108th District;
Don Miller, representing the 121st District;
Phil Palmesano, representing the 136th District;
Ed Ra, representing the 21st District;
Kevin Smardz, representing the 146th District, and
Claudia Tenney, representing the 115th District

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