Gallahan seeks a better future for 131st
– By Josh Durso
Manchester Town Supervisor Mike Gallahan says running for New York State Assembly in the 131st District first crossed his mind a couple years ago.
Then-Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, R-Canandaigua, was contemplating a gubernatorial run. That was when Gallahan says he was approached by Kolb, and some others, about filling his shoes in the 131st.
He says Republicans viewed him in Ontario County as an ideal fit. “I’m always looking for better ways to govern in our community as a supervisor,” he explained. “And we came to the conclusion then that if I got to Albany, we could get some fresh ideas down there.”
Fast-forward a couple years, and the supervisor from Ontario County heard Kolb’s announcement that he wouldn’t seek re-election. “I went back to my wife, we discussed it within the family again, and here we are.”
Gallahan is a small business owner, operating CR7 Catering with his wife. He’s served as town supervisor in Manchester for the last 11 years, and served on town council for four years before that. His experience in local politics runs deep, but says the issues facing voters in the 131st are fundamental.
“It’s a shame that the governor blames it on the weather,” Gallahan said in a recent episode of Inside the FLX. “The way the state is being governed and run right now is not conducive to small businesses.”
While Gallahan takes the core Republican issues to voters – like protecting the Second Amendment, as well as ensuring that unfunded mandates are addressed in Albany, his approach includes something different.
“Instead of looking at the far-right and far-left, I want to find ways to bring folks to the middle,” he explained. “I’m going to put my arm around the freshmen representatives and invite all of them to Upstate New York. Let them see our way of life, let them see our communities, no matter where they’re from.”
He says that approach and style of governing will make a significant difference in the way Albany politics is approached.
“You’re looking at 23 different freshmen members of Assembly,” he added. “That’s a big number.”
Gallahan’s philosophy is baked into the small community that he comes from in Ontario County. He says people don’t govern from a political ideology. Instead, they govern on issues and ways to make the community better.
“I sit down with people,” Gallahan explained. “When we have an issue in Manchester or Ontario County, I sit down and talk with them. That’s how we get things done, that’s how we find common ground.”
Freeing up funding for Upstate infrastructure is an important part of Gallahan’s plan. He says he’d like to see more dollars available for Upstate communities to improve water and sewer infrastructure. He’d also like to see more funding through federal programs. “CHIPS funds don’t go as far as they need to in a lot of these communities with infrastructure that’s 100+ years old,” Gallahan explained.
Another point of contention that he feels from voters on a regular basis with the way Albany operates – is the approach to economic development. Gallahan serves on the County’s Industrial Development Agency, and he says his voting record speaks for itself.
“If a project or proposal isn’t right for the community, I vote no,” he said. Gallahan contends that there have been several projects in recent years that have drawn ‘no’ votes from him, based on their functionality and benefit to taxpayers. “It has to fit, and it has to make sense, but most-importantly it has to be fair.”
Having represented part of Ontario County for a number of years, Gallahan feels that his experience – coupled with the county’s ongoing success makes for the right combination of experience to bring his candidacy to Albany.
Josh is the president and publisher of FingerLakes1.com. Have a question? Send them to [email protected].