New York State Senator Joseph Griffo (R-I-C Rome) has spent the last few years as Deputy Minority Leader and now that Minority Leader John Flanagan has opted not to run again for the position, will Griffo accept the leadership role?

The answer to that question came in the form of a press release on Tuesday as Griffo announced he will not seek the position. "After contemplation and reflection, along with family obligations, I have decided that I shall not seek nor accept this leadership position," Griffo said. "It has been a privilege, honor and pleasure to serve as Deputy Minority Leader, and I am appreciative of the Conference for having the confidence in me to serve in this role. I am looking forward to continuing to serve my Conference and the residents of New York." 

Flanagan, who represents New York's second Senate district, announced in March that he will not seek re-election. He has spent the last 17 years in the Senate, and was the Senate majority leader until Democrats took control of the majority two years ago. Flanagan also spent 16 years as a NYS Assemblyman, after being elected in 1986 when the seat was vacated following the death of his father.

In 2017, Flanagan announced that he was entering an alcohol treatment facility due to his dependence on alcohol. He re-entered a treatment facility in 2019. In March, he announced he would not seek re-election and on Tuesday, he announced that he'll be leaving the Senate at the end of June for a lobbyist position in the healthcare field.

"I thank Senate Minority Leader John Flanagan for honorably serving as the leader of the Republican Conference. During his time as leader and throughout his tenure in the Legislature, Sen. Flanagan has served his constituents and the people of this state with remarkable leadership, dedication, ability, commitment and tenacity," Griffo said. "He has been a reliable presence and confidant and, most importantly, a good friend during my time in the Senate, and I appreciate all that he has been able to accomplish.”

Griffo, 64, has been in the New York State Senate since 2007. He also previously served as Oneida County Executive and the Mayor of the City of Rome.

“I am grateful for those who have approached and encouraged me to consider the Minority Leader position. I understand the importance of the role and believe that I have the skill set necessary and have demonstrated the abilities needed to lead the Senate’s Republican Conference," said Griffo.