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Corwin won’t seek re-election to Assembly seat

Assemblywoman Jane L. Corwin, in a surprise announcement, has declared she will not to seek a fifth two-year term in Albany.

“I pride myself in leading by example,” the Clarence Republican said in a statement Tuesday evening, “and I firmly believe that instituting term limits on state officials will go a long way in ending the corruption and dysfunction in Albany.

“I am proud of my service and time in the Legislature,” she added, “but as I ‘term myself out,’ it is time to let someone else have the opportunity to represent our community and bring Western New York values to the ‘people’s house.’ ”

Highly regarded by state GOP leaders, she was the floor leader for the Republican minority in the Assembly.

Corwin, who was first elected in 2008, has served as a point person for leading much of the opposition floor debate in the Assembly. She has a reputation as smart, both policy-wise and politically.

“Color me surprised myself,” Erie County Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy said Tuesday night. “I really thought Jane would be the next Republican minority leader. She was doing a great job as floor leader.”

Her announcement came just two days before the Thursday deadline for submitting nominating petitions for the Sept. 13 state primary elections. Langworthy said that the county GOP’s committee on vacancies will meet soon to review qualifications of possible candidates.

Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb, R-Canandaigua, issued a statement Tuesday saying, “The Assembly Minority Conference will deeply miss the professionalism, dedication and enthusiasm she brought to work every day. As one of the Legislature’s most respected members, and as our floor leader, Jane championed the priorities of our conference and fought tirelessly for measures to improve the quality of life in New York.

“I know this was an extremely difficult decision for Jane because of her deep love for and belief in public service. I thank her for her efforts and wish her nothing but continued success and happiness as she closes this chapter in her distinguished career.”

In addition to corruption, her recent concerns included measures to combat opioid and heroin addiction and legislation to provide for upkeep of so-called “zombie homes” abandoned due to foreclosures.

Corwin, a mother of three and a businesswoman whose family published the Talking Phone Book, was first elected in 2008 to represent the 144th Assembly District, a predominantly Republican district that includes parts of Erie and Niagara counties.

In 2011, she finished second to now-Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul in a three-way special election to succeed Rep. Chris Lee in the heavily Republican 26th Congressional District. Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino asked her to be his running mate in 2014, but she declined, saying that she enjoyed her work in the Assembly.

Endorsed by the Conservative and Independence parties in all of her campaigns, she was unopposed for re-election to the Assembly in 2010, 2012 and 2014.

email: danderson@buffnews.com