A longtime town supervisor and former congressional candidate is leaving government for a job in the private sector.
Gates town supervisor Mark Assini is resigning on November 7. He isn't saying yet which company has hired him. But he tells WXXI News he was approached about the position within the last two weeks.
"Part of me was really excited about the opportunity to go do something really challenging and exciting and part of me was sad,” he said, “because I know I'm leaving some true friends I made in a job where I knew where I was making a difference. I was a little torn."
Assini, a Republican, twice tried to unseat Democratic Congresswoman Louise Slaughter. He nearly succeeded in the first attempt in 2014. But Assini says in hindsight, he can see that things happen for a reason.
"I'm looking at the way Congress behaves now - the corruption, the disrespect, the self-service that I see - even in my own party from somebody like Chris Collins, who was a leader. It is disturbing. I am blessed not to have been part of that, even though I really, truly thought I could have made a difference, but looking back, probably not."
Assini decided not to wage a third congressional campaign this year after neurosurgeon James Maxwell won the endorsement of the Monroe County Conservative Party. When asked if his political career was over now, Assini said he wouldn’t rule anything in or out, but is focused now on being the best leader he can be in the company he will soon join.
Assini served as Gates town supervisor for the past nine years. He counts among his proudest accomplishments the Gates to Recovery program, which connects individuals struggling with addiction to recovery services within the community, and the repair of the Trolley Boulevard and Lyell Avenue bridges.
Assini is still concerned that the crumbling Brooks Avenue underpass has still not been replaced. “I just talked to the attorney who represents the railroad the other day and said, ‘we have to try to do something in the next couple of weeks, because that thing is dangerous.’ I’m very disappointed that hasn’t been taken care of and I’m going to fight like heck until the time I leave to get that replaced.”
Assini had one year left in his current term. The town board will have to appoint a replacement to serve until the seat is up for re-election in 2019.