By JOHN ANDERSON
During a caucus at 1 p.m. today (Dec. 13), the Allegany County Republican legislators will vote on the 2022 majority leader position.
With the legislature 15-0 Republicans, a lot of decisions can be made in these caucuses behind closed doors on county property and not fall under the “executive session” policy.
At 9:45 p.m. Sunday, District II Legislator (Belmont area) Dwight “Mike” Healy sent an email to legislators saying he wants to retain his seat. District IV Legislator (Wellsville-Andover area) Steve Havey has already announced he would like to be the majority leader. The Wellsville Sun published Havey’s letter of intent:
District 1 (Northern Allegany County) Legislator Philip Stockin, R-Houghton, is currently the favorite to take over as county chair in 2022. He would replace outgoing Legislator Curt Crandall, who served 16 years as chair, a county record, and retires from the board after 20 years.
Stockin was the emergency successor for Healy as majority leader on the county website. That would have to have a new appointment as well.
In a letter to the Wellsville Sun, Havey said, “Majority Leader is part organizer, part cheerleader, and part referee. The Majority Leader’s duties, among others, are to facilitate conversations about impending legislation and to ensure that all opinions on the subject are heard and considered. Intelligent decisions can not be made without this type of interaction. If selected, I hope to help create better legislation and benefit Allegany County in general and District Four in particular.”
Healy’s public letter to legislators did not say who wanted him to pull his name as majority leader several weeks ago. He said another legislator he didn’t name, asked him to run and he said he saw the article in the Wellsville Sun and has “no ill will toward Mr. Havey and I’m sure he could do a good job as Majority Leader.” Healy said he asked Havey to consider the role when he was making plans to take over as county chair for Crandall.
Now, Healy says he wants the majority position again and said he will be more transparent.
His letter said, “I draw no negative assumptions from any of this and only offer this as a backdrop to what appears to be my sudden interest in the Majority Leader position, as I believe in an open, honest, and transparent process. For those who are less familiar with me, I have led our Party and Legislators to a 15 to 0 Majority ever since I have been Majority Leader and/or Party Chairman, and I have been a Legislator for 12yrs. In addition, I am well known and have a good rapport with our local, State, and National Representatives and/or Leaders. I also have a relationship with most of our Business Leaders and am personally familiar with the entire County. With all that, I believe that that I can do a better job as Majority Leader. Nothing against Mr. Havey, and either way he has assured me, and I him, that this won’t affect our personal relationship, mutual respect, or ability to work together.”
The Wellsville Sun will have more today after the caucus.