Just days after District 125 Assemb. Barbara Lifton announced she would retire after nine terms, District 126 Assemb. and assistant minority leader Gary Finch said yesterday (February 3) that his tenth will also be his last.
“It’s time,” said Finch, 75, who was first elected in 1999. “I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”
“To maintain the trust of my constituents for over twenty years means something that’s difficult to even put into words,” he continued. “I want to thank my family for their love and support. My wife Marcia has always been my best and most trusted advisor, and without her partnership, none of this would’ve been possible.”
Prior to being elected in 1999, Finch was a prominent businessman in the Auburn-area who was also very involved in politics.
He owned Brew-Finch Funeral Homes for more than four decades, which he purchased after working there for many years beforehand as a funeral director.
Additionally, he served as the village of Aurora mayor for eight years (1982-90), after serving three as a village trustee beginning in 1979.
Finch was also actively involved at Cayuga Community College, the United Way of Cayuga County, the Auburn Rotary Club and the Cayuga County Chamber of Commerce.
As an assemblyman, Finch long served on the Committee on Corrections, championing correction officers in Albany and chairing a statewide Task Force on Workforce Issues in the Correctional System in 2010.
He expressed optimism for his GOP party moving forward.
“I want to thank my colleagues,” Finch said. “I’m leaving a Conference that’s filled with energetic, talented people who have an exciting vision for the future. I can’t wait to see what they’re going to achieve in the coming years.”
District 125 includes all of Tompkins and much of Cortland County, with District 126 the other rest of Cortland and parts of Cayuga, Chenango and Onondaga counties.