Kevin Gaughan, Democratic candidate for the NYS Assembly, has called on Sheldon Silver to not run for re-election as Speaker of the Assembly. In addition, in light of Silver’s recent admission of secretly using taxpayer money to protect an assembly member from a workplace  harassment lawsuit, Gaughan will propose a bill to prohibit the use of public funds to settle legal claims against state legislators.

In a letter to Silver (copy below), Gaughan says that Silver’s lack of curiosity about Western New York matters, combined with yet another incident of workplace harassment of women, led Gaughan to conclude that he cannot support Silver as Assembly Speaker.

“With due respect to Mr. Silver, after 18 years leading the Assembly, a time marked by much

scandal and, as well, a period that mirrors the decline of Western New York, we must now turn the page and write a new chapter on Albany government,” Gaughan said.

If elected, Gaughan added that he will work to create a coalition of legislators in support of a speaker from upstate New York.  “The state Assembly has never had a Speaker from upstate,” Gaughan asserted, “and with our community now among the fastest dying regions in America, it’s time Western New Yorkers strengthen our Albany influence.”

Gaughan is competing in this Thursday’s Democratic primary election with Sean Ryan and Joseph Mascia.  The 149th Assembly District includes the west side of Buffalo, a portion of the City ofLackawanna, and the Town of Hamburg.