MAYVILLE - Dick Babbage is ready to conclude his time in county government.
Babbage announced recently that he will not be seeking re-election to the legislature this fall.
One of the body's senior Republican members, Babbage is in his 10th term representing District 17 - which covers the town of Ellery and a portion of the town of Chautauqua.
Babbage took office on Jan. 1, 1992, after beating the incumbent candidate in that November's election. Prior to serving in the County Legislature, he served as a village trustee in Bemus Point and also as the municipality's mayor.
"Back in those days, you just kind of took your turn," Babbage said of becoming a trustee. "Everybody served on the village board for a little while, but, when it was my turn, I continued to serve and eventually was both village trustee and deputy mayor."
After he took over the position of mayor from Thom Shagla, Babbage ran for election and won - serving a total of 10 years as Bemus Point's mayor. In addition to his elected positions, Babbage also taught at Maple Grove for a total of 25 years.
County Republicans already have someone in mind for Babbage's soon-to-be-vacated seat. The day after Babbage made his announcement, Vince Horrigan told The Post-Journal of his interest in the position.
"I have been asked and I've done some reflection and I will be pursuing the election," Horrigan said. "I'm currently reviewing all my options, but I will be seeking the endorsement of the Republican Party and I will also be seeking other party endorsements as well, but I've just started the process."
Horrigan continued on to say that there are a number of challenges before the community. He also highlighted his qualifications for the position.
"I've got 27 years military service and 12 years of humanitarian service and not-for-profit work," he said. "Plus I'm blessed with some good health and some energy and I just care deeply about this country. So I was asked if I would consider it and I think that I can do my very best to represent the people of District 17, to try to work on the challenges that are ahead of us. It won't be an easy task, but I think it's one that is certainly very, very important."
Though born in Cleveland, Horrigan said he has considered Chautauqua County home since he was 5 years old. In May of 1998, after retiring from the U.S. Airforce as a Colonel, Horrigan bought the Lakeside Drive property in Bemus Point from his parents, which they had purchased in 1955.
"This has always been the place I wanted to be," Horrigan said. "If you ask me, 'Have you been here all your life?' The answer is that since I was 5 years old, Chautauqua County and Chautauqua Lake and Bemus Point and the town of Ellery have always been where my heart is."