Assemblyman-elect Brian Manktelow said Thursday it hasn't sunk in yet that he's less than two months away from being sworn in as a state lawmaker.
Manktelow, R-Lyons, won the election Tuesday in the 130th Assembly District, which includes all of Wayne County, the northern half of Cayuga County and a few towns in western Oswego County. He received 64 percent of the vote to defeat Democratic opponent Scott Comegys. Comegys, an alpaca farmer from Palmyra, netted 32 percent of the vote.
With the win, Manktelow will succeed state Assemblyman Bob Oaks in January. Oaks, R-Macedon, announced in May that he wouldn't seek re-election after 25 years as a state legislator.
In an interview with The Citizen, Manktelow revealed that he's already contacted at least one potential employee to fill a position on his staff. He's also in talks to retain Oaks' district office at 10 Leach Road in Lyons.
"I'm ready to go," Manktelow said. "Prior to Election Day, there's a lot of things I thought about but I couldn't do anything until that time. I'm diving in head first."
One of his goals for the first few months of his term is to build relationships with other legislators. That will be important for Manktelow, who will be a freshman GOP lawmaker in a Democratic-controlled chamber.
A proposal he wants to advocate for is having standalone bills instead of larger omnibus measures that are often filled with various provisions to expedite the legislative process. That can be challenging for lawmakers who may not know what's in the bill or how it would affect their districts.
Manktelow said the idea is one of the first proposals he will push for in Albany.
"I think it's very doable and I think it's a benefit to everyone," he explained. "It just helps you understand more of what you're voting for and how it's going to affect every issue."
Unfunded mandates are a priority, too. As a local government official — he's the Lyons town supervisor — he's aware of the impact mandates have on municipalities and school districts. He wants his future colleagues to consider how legislation at the state level can affect local governments.
For now, though, Manktelow's focus is on transitioning from his local government role to his new job as a state legislator beginning in January.
Oaks has been helpful, Manktelow said. During the campaign, Oaks, who also serves as Wayne County Republican chairman, assisted by connecting him with leaders in each of the district's three counties.
On Wednesday, Manktelow and Oaks met for more than an hour. Manktelow said Oaks shared "some of the intricacies of going (to Albany) and what needs to happen."
He welcomes the support from the outgoing assemblyman.
"It's awesome to have him there. I feel pretty comfortable," he said. "I love my job here, but I'm ready to go down there and start working."