Power Shift in New York State GOP

On Friday, April 3, New York State Assembly Republican Leader James Tedisco stepped down from his post to place a more intent focus on monitoring votes cast in his recent Congressional bid against Democrat Scott Murphy. This resignation, alone, shows the force of the political capital associated with the House seat recently vacated by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. Last week, I wrote about the expectations both Democrats and Republicans have regarding the contested position.

While the Congressional battle rages on, in Albany, Republicans have nominated a new minority leader– Assemblyman Brian Kolb, a state representative from district 129.

According to the Poughkeepsie Journal, Kolb was “...unanimously selected for the post by the 41-member Republican conference.” Also mentioned and reaffirmed by the Journal is the massive democratic lead in number of assemblymen and women (109-41) – a scary disparity for anyone hoping for Republican rejuvenation.

However, uniformity in selection is a good sign that Republicans are cohesively supportive of Kolb – a boundedness Republicans have been missing since well before the 2008 presidential election. Although New York State's Assembly represents only a small microcosm of the United States when it comes to political occurrence, this development may be significant in that it may be signaling the beginnings of a more united front.

Aside from the unanimity shown in selecting Kolb, there are a number of factors that point to a party focused on resurgence. This, of course, must be led by the assembly's new GOP leadership; so far, Kolb is showing the proper mindset.

In an effort to offer the GOP caucus a consistent leadership model, Kolb has stated that he will not run for Congress next year. With devotion in mind, Republicans can be hopeful that Kolb will ascertain the ability to lead the legislative charge against the assembly's doubly-large Democratic majority.

According to the Gotham Gazette, “Tedisco was known for his theatrics and headline-grabbing stunts but Kolb is expected to take a more strategic approach.” This may have implications for possible party growth or disability, depending on how Kolb engages his constituents.

Only time will tell if the recent power change will help or hurt the Republican cause.