A top aide to County Executive Chris Collins is leaving the Rath County Office Building to join Assemblywoman Jane L. Corwin's Republican campaign for Congress.
Christopher M. Grant, Collins' chief of staff and principal political strategist, began an unpaid leave of absence from the administration on Monday, Collins said.
"Chris is a dedicated and valuable member of my team, and while he will be missed, his talents are needed to help Assemblywoman Corwin bring her common sense approach and fiscally conservative principles to Washington, D.C. to represent the residents of New York's 26th Congressional District," Collins said.
The move reflects the close political relationship between Corwin and the county executive, who recruited his Spaulding Lake neighbor to run in the 2008 GOP primary for the Assembly. Collins has maintained a long friendship with Corwin's family, and had pushed her brother — Rick Lewis — for the 26th District seat when a vacancy occurred in 2008.
The GOP candidate that year eventually was Chris Lee, who resigned the seat on Feb. 9 after a gossip website revealed he was corresponding with a Maryland woman seeking dates on Craigslist.
Collins' long time Washington media consultant — Lancaster native Michael J. Hook — is also assisting in the Corwin campaign.
The county executive said Tuesday that Grant Loomis, his communications director, will serve as acting chief of staff.