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Why are so many lawmakers not running again? Local expert explains

Local Politics

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — On Wednesday, Assemblyman Peter Lawrence (R-134) announced he would not seek re-election.

Lawrence became the third local lawmaker in just the past seven days who won’t re-occupy their currently-held seat, joining David Gantt and newly-appointed Monroe County Clerk Jamie Romeo.

State Senators Rich Funke, and Joseph Robach, both Republicans, also will not seek re-election.

One expert says on the Republican side, it could be indicative of a larger strategy.

“It’s almost like starting from scratch in a lot of these races,” said Tim Kneeland, a political science professor at Nazareth College. “So I think that’s one of those reasons why you’re going to see maybe a little bit of a punt.”

“Now you’ve got Robach gone, and Funke gone, and you’re trying to retain seats in areas where Democrats already outnumber you by tens of thousands of voters,” added Kneeland.

Kneeland sees a larger effort on part of local Republicans to gear up for 2022, to get more funding and develop their candidates.

Close to eight Republican lawmakers have announced they will not return to their seat. Chris Jacobs, a Western New York Republican, would also leave his seat if he won the special election to replace Chris Collins’ seat in the United States Congress.

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