After 36 1/2 years of service, Colonie GOP Chairman Harry D'Agostino will pass the baton, as he said, effective Friday, July 31.
D'Agostino said he "would have stepped down a couple years ago," though he decided to stay on as chairman after the party lost the 2007 Colonie Town Supervisor election when Democrat Paula Mahan beat incumbent Mary Brizzell. With that election, Democrats won majority over the Town Board for the first time in decades.
His goal was to put together a party slate that would bring victory for the GOP in 2009, which D'Agostino said, "We've done all that, second to none." Now, D'Agostino said all of the campaign literature and planning is complete from now through November, so he saw it as the perfect time to have someone younger take over his role.
"[My job] is never done, but you need somebody younger, and I'm not going to live forever," he said.
Not all party members agreed that this was a good time for him to step down, D'Agostino said.
"Everyone will tell you, 'This is not a good time.' They'll say, 'Change is bad.' Change is okay," he said. "You just gotta know the right time, and I think this is the right time and the right atmosphere."
D'Agostino said he is confident that the slate the party has prepared, with Michael Hoblock as the chosen candidate for Town Supervisor, is a strong one, and that the party will transition smoothly under new leadership.
"I think the party's in good shape and everything's all laid out. All we gotta do is follow the game plan until November," he said.
Until a full-time chairperson is chosen, D'Agostino said Vice Chairwoman Elizabeth DelTorto, who is also the Colonie Town Clerk, will step in.
For more on this story, check back at www.spotlightnews.com, or read the Wednesday, Aug. 5 print edition of the Colonie Spotlight.