Updated: December 11, 2019 05:55 PM
Created: December 11, 2019 09:21 AM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — State Sen. Joe Robach joins a growing number of Republicans who are leaving the state Senate.
Robach represents the 56th State Senate District, which encompasses the Towns of Brighton, Clarkson, Gates, Greece, Hamlin, Parma, and parts of the City of Rochester.
He told News10NBC that last year's state budget process, the criminal justice reforms, and Republicans' inability to have a real say in Albany led to his decision.
"Clearly not being able to stop that or do some of the things that have a huge record of accomplishment in the past under us being in the majority, working across the aisle with different governors of every party no longer existing, absolutely was the main reason why was the reason, quite frankly, the only reason why I'm not seeking reelection."
Robach held the seat since 2003. Before that, he served in the state Assembly from 1991 to 2002 as a Democrat.
He issued the following statement on Wednesday.
"It has been an honor and privilege to represent Rochester and Monroe County in the state Senate and state Assembly. I have had the opportunity to accomplish much, meet many great people and assist thousands of residents in our community throughout my tenure in elected office. However, I, like many others, am now suffering from the divisive New York City politics that have engulfed everything in the State Capitol. This has impacted my decision not to seek re-election.
I have always made my service to be of purpose and have spent my entire career ensuring that Monroe County, Rochester and upstate has a strong voice in state government. It is imperative that any Senate representative from our region, regardless of political affiliation, be willing to stand up to the New York City power brokers that now control our state capitol, and put our region and people first. I hope that my performance has reflected my deep appreciation for the opportunity to serve in elected office and the continued support I have received from the community that I love."
Fellow Republican, Sen. Rich Funke issued a statement on Robach's announcement.
“Next year, Rochester will lose one of its greatest champions. Senator Joe Robach lives and breathes Rochester and for many in Albany he is the living embodiment of our region. For decades he has delivered for our schools, businesses, not for profits, unions and municipalities- often against steep odds. When I was a reporter Joe was always there with a tip and a joke. He was honest, straightforward and engaging. Since my election to the Senate Joe has been a mentor in the ways of politics and the challenges in Albany. I’ve been proud to be his partner in government in ensuring that our area was never given short shrift and always got its fair share. I am proud to call him my colleague and even prouder to call him my friend. In an era of hyper-partisanship, Joe Robach was a glaring exception. He would work with anyone if it meant helping the region he loved. We need more like him in public life. I’m happy for Joe and his family but sad for our region and our state. Whoever ends up succeeding him will never be able to replace him. “
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