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Assembly Republicans elect new leader after Kolb steps down

ALBANY – Assembly Republicans moved quickly Tuesday to name William Barclay, an Oswego County lawyer, as their new leader to replace Brian Kolb a week after Kolb's drunken driving arrest.

Barclay, first elected to his Assembly post in 2002, lives in Pulaski, a Lake Ontario community, and his law practice salary makes him among the top outside earners in the Assembly. His job carries influence within GOP circles, but it offers no power in the Assembly dominated by Democrats.

Kolb, an Ontario County Republican, stepped down last week following his New Year’s Eve arrest on a driving while intoxicated charge, which came a couple of weeks after he wrote constituents advising them not to drink and drive during the holidays.

On Tuesday, court papers were released showing Kolb registered a blood alcohol level twice the legal limit; he initially told a tow truck driver that his wife was driving – though she apparently was not present in the incident outside his Canandaigua home.

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