Assemblyman Hayes will not run for Senate seat
State Assemblyman Jim Hayes, R-Amherst, said he is not running for the Senate's 61st District seat, following Sen. Mary Lou Rath's decision to retire.
"I am very committed to my work as ranking member of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee, working on the state budget and representing the concerns of the families of Amherst, Pendleton, North Tonawanda and all of Western New York," he said in a statement to The Bee Group Newspapers.
He added, "If I were to run for the state Senate, it would mean committing to a nearly yearlong campaign that would be a diversion from these important tasks. Leaving the Assembly would mean that Western New York would surely face the loss of an important leadership post in the state Legislature."
Hayes said the best way to serve the community is by continuing in the Assembly.
"There are several highly qualified Republican candidates who can run and win and help assure the preservation of the Republican majority in the Senate," he said. "I am making this decision now so the Republican leadership has ample opportunity to recruit the best candidate to hold the Senate seat in this year's election."
Hayes said he notified Republican leaders in the 148th Assembly District that he will be a candidate for re-election in November and will not be a candidate for the Senate.
He will be seeking his sixth term in the New York State Assembly.