Barclay to lead Assembly Republican Conference

Photo courtesy of the New York State Assembly

The Assembly Republican Conference has elected Will Barclay to serve as their new leader after the sudden resignation of Brian Kolb last week.

Barclay, of Pulaski, had been serving as the deputy minority leader since 2012.

The 51-year-old assemblyman was first elected in 2002 and has served on a number of committees including Insurance, Energy, Judiciary, Rules, and Ways and Means.

“I am enormously proud of the work the Assembly Minority Conference has done to advocate on behalf of the people of this great state, and tremendously humbled to have the support of my colleagues,” Barclay said. “As we start a new year, the members of our conference will help ensure that every corner of our state is a better place for every New Yorker. I am honored and excited to have their confidence and to work alongside them as minority leader.”

Barclay was elected unanimously by his peers on Tuesday, and takes over as minority leader after serving as the conference’s ranking member on the Assembly Ways and Means Committee.

“The 2020 legislative session will be challenging, but we are firmly committed to putting our state back on the right track, and promoting measures that are fair and protect constituents in every community,” said Barclay. “One year of one-party rule has proven to be both costly and dangerous. We need an immediate course correction and we are eager to get started.”

Barclay is a graduate of St. Lawrence University and Syracuse University College of Law. After graduating from law school, he served as a law clerk for Roger J. Miner, a judge of the United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, in Albany and New York City.

He is a partner in the Syracuse law firm of Barclay Damon, LLP, where he specializes in business law.

Barclay replaces Kolb as Assembly minority leader after Kolb resigned January 3, two days after a New Year’s Eve arrest for driving while intoxicated. Kolb allegedly crashed his state-issued SUV in front of his home in Victor and was found to have a blood-alcohol content of 0.16.

“I congratulate my friend and former-colleague Will Barclay upon his selection as Republican Leader of the State Assembly,” said Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, who served as an assemblyman from 2007-2011. “While the timing was rushed and under unfortunate circumstances, I know his style, sensibility, decency and demeanor will serve the Republican Conference well.”

“I’m confident he will carry on the Republican Assembly Conference’s commitment to sportsmen and women, farmers, families, and small business owners. I know he will rise to the challenge and continue being a voice for upstate and beleaguered New Yorkers desperate for a government that will provide them relief, preserve their rights and make life a little easier.”