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After DWI arrest, Kolb says he won't seek re-election

New York State Assembly
State Assemblyman Brian Kolb, center, announced Thursday he won't seek re-election this fall. Kolb was arrested on Dec. 31 on a DWI charge

Former Assembly Republican Minority Leader Brian Kolb has announced he will not be seeking re-election. Kolb stepped down from his leadership post last month after being arrested for drunk driving on New Year’s Eve.

Kolb, who was first elected to the Assembly 20 years ago, led the minority party Republicans for nine years, and was well regarded at the Capitol. He resigned from the leadership post in early January, after he crashed his state-issued car into a ditch on New Year’s Eve and was charged with drunken driving.

Kolb gained even more attention when police records included a witness report from a tow truck driver, who said Kolb initially told him it was his wife who had been driving. "You know how women drive," Kolb said, according to the records. 

In a statement, Kolb said that he made his decision not to seek re-election "after a great deal of consideration and discussions with my family," and said his two decade-long state political career would not have been possible without the "love, patience and sacrifices" of his wife and other family members.

Kolb said he hopes to remain active in the community.

Central New York Assemblyman Will Barclay (R-Pulaski), who took over as minority leader when Kolb stepped down, said in a statement that he was disappointed that Kolb has decided to not seek re-election.

"During his 20 years in Albany, Brian has been a trusted confidant and true friend to many of us. He will be greatly missed. On behalf of the entire Minority Conference, I’d like to thank him for his leadership and resolve. I wish him and his wife, Lauren, continued happiness as they begin a new journey," Barclay said.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.