Chautauqua County Legislator from District 17, Vince Horrigan (R) from Bemus Point, N.Y., has announced his candidacy for Chautauqua County Executive.
The announcement came at a Wednesday, May 1 evening Chautauqua County Republican reception at Shorewood Country Club in Dunkirk, N.Y.
"Just over 57 years ago, I fell in love with a place called Chautauqua," Horrigan said. "As a young kid from Ohio, I learned to swim here, play little league here, catch a fish here, and I learned to fly here. When I married my high school sweetheart, we spent our honeymoon here. Together with my wife and our two kids, we traveled the world while I had the privilege to serve our nation in the United States Air Force for 27 years. At my retirement ceremony at RAF Mildenhall, United Kingdom, I told my fellow airman that I was returning to a place I love, called Chautauqua County. That was 15 years ago this month, but seems like yesterday to me.
"While I was blessed to experience all that is wonderful in this great county, I also gained the opportunity to experience the challenges and struggles which our citizens face in times of hardship. My time as Director of the Red Cross in Chautauqua County shined the light on a resilient people who suffered through house fires, storms and floods. And I witnessed the generosity and compassion of our wonderful citizens who came to their aid as volunteers and financial donors.
"Over my years of public service in village and county government, I have understood that so many of us come from different viewpoints, but we all want the best for those who live in Chautauqua County. However, we must have a vision for the future to determine how we will solve the challenges that we face in our individual economic circumstances and demographics. Our collective success will require building consensus around efficiency, productivity and economic development.
"I am truly humbled by the outpouring of support for my decision, and emboldened by your commitment to our cause, and ready to lead a winning team to build a vibrant county where opportunity abounds for each and every one of us to achieve success by accomplishing our personal best.
"Ladies and gentlemen, we owe a great deal of gratitude to Greg Edwards for his incredible eight years of service to our county and for the support of his family. I am also grateful to my wife, Barbara, who has once again postponed our retirement plans and lends her strong support to my candidacy. With your support, I am eager to embark upon a mission to lead our county into a vibrant community where opportunity abounds for all our citizens."