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GOP chair steps down in Saratoga County (UPDATE)

Jasper Nolan is ending his 27-year run as chair of the Saratoga County Republican Committee.

In a press release on Saturday, the former school teacher announced that he will not seek another term in office when elections are held for the position in September. He took office more than two decades ago with the resignation of then-Chair James Foley.

Nolan said he remains committed to the slate of Republican candidates running this year and hopes to serve as "Chairman Emeritus" after he steps down, serving only in an advisory capacity.

“Saratoga County is an amazing place, and it’s been an honor to be a small part of the success we’ve enjoyed here. Working with outstanding community, political and elected leaders has truly been a privilege,” he said in a statement.

In the last couple months his leadership has come into question, as the hotly contested 43rd state Senate race has pulled apart Republicans in the county. The tussle even included some allegations of sexism, a charge he has vehemently refuted, citing his support in the past for candidates of both sexes.

Ultimately, Nolan will most likely be remembered for the way Republicans have dominated politics in the county under his tenure, with the release highlighting Republican "fundraising and number of offices held by Republicans." In recent years, Nolan said he played a role in winning seats at all levels of government.

Nolan did not endorse a successor in his farewell press release and did not immediately return a call for comment.

UPDATE: State Sen. Roy McDonald, R-Saratoga, whose start in politics began about 30 years ago in the town of Wilton, said he was happy for his friend of about 35 years and wished him well on the next journey of his life. He said Nolan could be described in two words, "decent" and "honest."

As for Nolan's legacy, McDonald credited him with giving Saratoga County some of the lowest taxes, unemployment and crime rates in the entire state.

Saratoga County Republican Committee Vice Chair John Herrick said that Nolan did a lot of good in his tenure and left a really foot print on state politics. Committee Treasurer Chris Callaghan added that Nolan made a strong committee even stronger.

Herrick and Callaghan are both possible successors to Nolan, but neither would reveal their intentions. Herrick did say that he will be making an announcement about the job soon.

A version of this story will appear in tomorrow's edition of the Sunday Gazette.

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