ALBANY — All three of Oswego County’s state representatives will now serve in leadership roles in their respective conferences, according to recent news out of the capitol.
Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay, R-Pulaski, has served for the past year as his party’s boss in the Assembly and will do so again for the next 12 months. Barclay was unanimously re-elected by his Assembly GOP colleagues in a drama-free vote, and the Pulaski Republican’s nearly 20 years in Albany have seen him rise to one of the most visible positions in and around the legislative chambers.
Assemblyman Brian Manktelow, R-Lyons, one of Barclay’s 43 conference members, announced Tuesday his appointment as minority conference secretary. The new position will give Manktelow, first elected in 2018, a “larger role” in the leadership.
“I am honored and humbled that Leader Barclay chose me for this position,” said Manktelow. “I am looking forward to this new position within the conference.”
State Sen. Patty Ritchie, R-Heuvelton, will enter her 11th year in Albany when the new lawmaking session begins in January and was named Tuesday evening as Senate minority chair by Republican conference chief Rob Ortt of Lockport.
“It is an honor to serve in this role, and in the other leadership positions I've been named to,” Ritchie said in announcing her appointment as Senate Republican chair.
Barclay, who has served with Ritchie since her election in 2010, extended his congratulations to the North Country lawmaker on Wednesday morning.
“(Ritchie) is a leader in her conference, in the Senate and in New York state,” Barclay told The Palladium-Times. “Oswego County is lucky to have her representing us.”
Ritchie is no stranger to leadership roles — she previously served as chair of the Agriculture and Markets Committee before Democrats wrested chamber — and committee — control from Republicans in 2019.
In addition to her chair role, Ritchie will serve as the ranking member of the Energy and Telecommunication Committee, as well as the Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs committees.
“I look forward to working with all of my colleagues as they take on these roles, and together the Senate Republican Conference will work to help middle-class families, struggling small businesses, and taxpayers throughout this state,” Ortt told North Country news website Newzjunky.com.
Manktelow has been selected to serve on the Assembly’s Environmental Conservation and Local Government committees. These are new assignments that the assemblyman said he finds “particularly appropriate” because of his activity in mitigation of the flooding along Lake Ontario and his previous role as supervisor in the town of Lyons.
“My experience as a farmer also will be helpful in working on environmental issues that face people in the 130th Assembly District and beyond,” Manktelow said. “These are good committee appointments for me and for our district.”
The 2021 New York Legislature session will convene on Jan. 6, 2021.