REMSEN — Oneida County Legislator Les Porter, chairman of the powerful Ways & Means Committee, is retiring when his term expires at the end of the year, ending more than a quarter century of public service.
The Republican represents District 6, which covers a wide swath of northern Oneida County and comprises the towns of Ava, Boonville, Forestport, Remsen and Steuben. He’s been a lawmaker since 1991.
“Trust me when I tell you this was not an easy decision, but one that ultimately made sense for me and my family,” said Porter in a statement. “I have been honored to represent my constituents and will miss this role very much.
“The time has come, however, for me to step down and enjoy my family, my friends and my retirement.”
He’s served on numerous legislative committees and task forces during his tenure and been on the county Fire Advisory Board.
Though retired, he remains an auctioneer. He donates his services as the auctioneer at the county land sales of foreclosed properties, saving the county from the cost of paying for this service.
Porter is the first legislator to announce he’s not seeking re-election this fall. The seats of all 23 lawmakers will be on the November ballot. There currently are 15 Republicans and eight Democrats.
The outgoing legislator is supporting Steve Boucher of Remsen as his replacement. Boucher, who is seeking the GOP endorsement, owns the Soda Fountain.
“I have a great deal of respect for Les and hope that I can create the legacy and respectable reputation that he’s been able to develop in this role, should I be fortunate to be elected,” said Boucher.
“He is greatly admired in this district as well as in the entire county. I am honored to be running for his seat.”