Western New York Republican Sen. Robert Ortt will back a motion that would oust Dean Skelos as majority leader and submit a resolution of his own if necessary, he said in a statement.
Ortt, a freshman elected to replace retired Sen. George Maziarz, is among the seven lawmakers in the chamber who have publicly called on Skelos to resign as leader while he faces corruption charges.
“Senator Skelos has done a lot of good work for New York State. But, one thing I learned fighting in Afghanistan is that being a leader means doing what’s best for the people you serve, not yourself, even if it’s painful or unpopular,” Ortt said in a statement.
The move comes a day after Senate Democrats unsuccessfully sought to hold a vote on a resolution removing Skelos as majority leader of the chamber.
Democrats have indicated they will make similar efforts in the coming legislative session days to raise the issue of Skelos remaining at the post following his arrest earlier this week.
But Republicans in the state Senate and around the state are growing increasingly anxious with Skelos remaining in power.
“The Senate Conference is bigger than one individual,” Ortt said. “We have critical issues facing us in New York, and we need a leader who can effectively advocate for Upstate New York without the cloud surrounding the current Senate leadership.”
A resolution submitted by Ortt removing Skelos could be a publicly awkward moment for Senate Republicans and require some lawmakers who are yet to take a position publicly on the issue to come forward.