Assemblyman Brian Kolb is speaking out about the reasons he announced last Friday he was pulling out of the race for governor, less than two months after he said he would be a candidate.
Expanding on the brief statement the Canandaigua Republican issued on Friday, Kolb told WXXI News on Sunday that during the last couple of weeks he has been thinking about getting out of the race for the GOP nomination, but he says it really hit him last Friday when he told his wife he would be on the road for a while.
“I was talking to my wife and said, you know I probably won’t see you until Tuesday, and I said to myself, is this really the way I want to spend the rest of 2018 and possibly the next 4 to 8 years? And I just said, no, that’s not what I’m going to do.”
The publication POLITICO-New York indicated there was a cloud over Kolb's candidacy since his name was mentioned in a 2004 civil court case brought by a former female Assembly aide against that chamber's former counsel.
Kolb denied any inappropriate behavior at the time, and reiterated his stance to Gannett when he announced his gubernatorial bid last December.
And in speaking with WXXI News on Sunday, Kolb again, strongly denied there was anything in connection with that case that would reflect negatively on him.
“People try to smear your name and start rumors, innuendo….absolutely not, I’ve done nothing wrong, I’ve never been referred to an ethics committee, never had any claims made on my behalf or settlements on my behalf; this was just purely a smear campaign is the only way I can describe it,” Kolb told WXXI News.
POLITICO says that some party officials told them that they were concerned about the possibility an accusation could emerge.
Kolb told WXXI News that he believes some people are raising that story again in an effort to smear his reputation.
“That’s why at this point in time, today, I’m even that much happier at getting out, because, it isn’t worth it to put my family, me, friends, supporters, when you’ve got people that are just out to personally destroy your reputation, behind your back.”
Kolb also says he is not endorsing anyone right now in the race for governor. With his withdrawal, State Senator John DeFrancisco and former Erie County Executive Joel Giambra are the two announced Republican candidates for governor.