posted on March 12, 2012 12:59
UPDATE (10:30am Tuesday) by Geoff Redick
Assemblyman Daniel Burling (R-Warsaw) believes every politician has a shelf life.
"I've been in politics for 20 years, and I think I'm at the end of mine," Burling says with a chuckle.
Burling announced Monday that he would not run for office again in New York's 147th Assembly District, which stands to be significantly altered in the complicated redistricting process in Albany. So, December 2012 will draw the close a 14-year career in the Assembly, in which Burling says he's established a "strong conservative voting record."
"I call myself a 'pothole Assemblyman,'" says Burling, "and I think what I've done is spent a lot of time on constituent services."
Burling prides himself on having fought for the "little guy" during his years in office.
"Something that comes to mind: I remember a little girl, about 9 years old, over in Strykersville," Burling says. "The State of New York told this little girl and her family that she didn't need an electric wheelchair – she didn't need to get around, she didn't need mobility.
"Well, we fought against that and we got her the electric wheelchair. And she's doing just fine," he says.
Burling recalled several episodes like that, whether it be healthcare or bridge repairs or critical legislation, where he'd helped out.
The Assemblyman is much less jovial when he thinks about Albany matters, like budgeting or partisanship.
"I went through the Eliot Spitzer debacle, then we had David Paterson...those were some very difficult times," Burling says. "Embarassing times for the state and embarassing, too, serving in the legislature."|
But Burling says the saving grace has been none other than Governor Andrew Cuomo – even though the governor is a Democrat.
"I think he's the right medicine for the right time," says Burling.
In declaring he won't run again, Burling is throwing his support behind Erie County Assemblyman Kevin Smardz, who will take over much of Burling's old district under the new proposed lines.
ORIGINAL REPORT (12:59pm Monday)
In a low-key news release Monday morning, Assemblyman Daniel Burling (R-Warsaw) announced he will not run for re-election to his seat in the 147th Assembly District.
The district covers Wyoming County and the southern portion of Genesee County, including the Towns of Corfu, Darien, Alexander, Bethany and Pavilion.
Burling has served for 14 years in the Assembly; prior to that, he was a Genesee County Legislator. Burling lives in Warsaw, but has also lived in Alexander and Attica in the past. He also operates a drugstore in Corfu.
Burling offered no reason for retiring in his prepared statement Monday morning. The full statement below:
"It has been an honor and privilege to serve the residents of the 147th Assembly District. I leave behind a strong conservative record and am pleased to have been an outspoken voice for the hard working families and small businesses in my district. There are many challenges and opportunities ahead, and I look forward to whatever the future may bring."