A retired U.S. Marine has announced his candidacy for the 118th Assembly seat, currently held by Assemblyman Marc Butler.  Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.) Robert Smullen is running as a Republican and appeared on WIBX's Keeler Show on Friday.

“I love New York, this is where I grew up, where my roots are,” states Smullen. “With integrity, it is my goal to earn the trust and respect of the people in this district, and become a public servant they can rely upon.”

(Submitted photo)

Prior to his announcement, Smullen was the Executive Director of the Hudson River Black River Regulating District. Selected by the Board of the Regulating District in 2016, he led a New York State environmental public benefit corporation that provides flood control and hydroelectric flow augmentation across two watersheds in Upstate New York.

Smullen retired at the rank of Colonel in 2015 from the United States Marine Corps. He had 24 years of service as an infantry officer and made three combat tours to Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks on New York. He served at the Pentagon as a military strategist, as well as numerous other operations and training roles in the United States and around the world.

He was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2003 as a White House Fellow, America's most prestigious program for leadership and public service. He served at the United States Department of Energy in the Office of the Secretary of Energy, where he learned invaluable public service and leadership skills.

Smullen possesses a B.A in History from The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, an M.A from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, and an M.S in Resource Management from The Eisenhower School, where he was a distinguished graduate at National Defense University.

He's currently a member of the Town of Johnstown Board of Assessment Review and enjoys doing his civic duty here at home. He is also a proud member of the American Legion and Marine Corps League and loves showing his support to help fellow veterans. In addition, he volunteers with the New York Naval Militia, part of the New York Military Forces providing disaster response in New York State.

“I’d like to represent this community and draw attention down in Albany to the very real and solvable problems we have here Upstate,” added Smullen. “There are opportunities and room for growth, and I want to make sure that our voice is being heard loud and clear.”

Assemblyman Marc Butler announced his retirement from the Assembly last year.

Listen to the complete interview here.