Saratoga John ‘Japser’ Nolan may be retiring after a 27 year run as the Saratoga County Republican Committee chairman, but he hopes to remain on board in an advisory role. Whom he’ll advise will be determined when the committee elects its new chairman on Sept. 29.
Nolan announced his retirement in July. Two men who are vocal about stepping into his shoes are former county treasurer Chris Callaghan of Waterford and committee Vice Chairman John Herrick of Saratoga Springs.
No matter the winner, Nolan is proud of his run and looks forward to seeing what the next leader will do in the position.
“I felt that, when do I say I’ve got to open the door for someone else?” said Nolan. “I want to go out with my boots on, so to speak.”
Nolan, who turns 78 next month, retired in 1993 from teaching history and government for more than 30 years in the Corinth Central School District.
“I never jumped out too early,” he said of that job, and the same could be said of his role with the GOP. He first became involved in the party as a committeeman in 1959. He said his life experiences drew him to the party.
“Having lived under the roof of a plumbing contractor or any kind of free enterprise individual, you get to understand that you’ve got to make do with what your skills are,” he said. “I understand the hard work that goes into that. … The free enterprise system does work if you make do with what your talents are and go find other people with talent.”
For his successor, he hopes that person will be “fair and upfront.” He offered to be an advisor, should the next chairman want that.
Callaghan said the GOP has been good to him over the years and thinks he can do a good job as county chairman. Modernization of the party is at the forefront of Callaghan’s platform and he said there needs to be more of an emphasis on youth in the party.