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Business Council set to tap leader

ALBANY – The state’s chief business lobbying group, which has had an acting president in place during the entire legislative session this year, is poised to select a new leader as early as next week.

Among the names floating around Albany to head the Business Council of New York State are Heather Briccetti, the group’s acting president, and Rochester-area Assemblyman Joseph Morelle, a Democrat.

Other names tossed into the mix, sources say, include John Faso, a lobbyist who was the Republican nominee in a losing 2006 gubernatorial bid against former Gov. Eliot Spitzer. “Just rumor,’’ Faso said in dismissing the chatter.

Another name some Business Council board members have floated is former Western New York Rep. Thomas Reynolds, a Republican who is now with Nixon Peabody, a law and lobbying firm.

“I am at Nixon Peabody and quite happy,’’ Reynolds said.

Morelle did not return calls for comment. People promoting him say Morelle is helped by his upstate roots, close ties with Democratic Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and good relations with Republicans.

Briccetti, who has worked in various lobbying and government posts over the years, has run the Business Council as acting president since Kenneth Adams stepped down in January to take a job with the Cuomo administration as president of the Empire State Development Corp. and commissioner of the Department of Economic Development.

Insiders say some council leaders are pressing that the replacement for Adams, who is from Brooklyn, come from upstate as a bow to recognize the ongoing economic troubles in the region.

The Business Council represents large and small businesses that all together employ 1.2 million New York residents.

Robert Lillpopp, the group’s new spokesman, said the Business Council’s board is expected to make an announcement about its leadership at a July 19 meeting, a day after executives with the trade group hit the links at an upscale golf course in Cooperstown as part of an annual outing.

-- Tom Precious

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About Politics Now

Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

rmccarthy@buffnews.com


Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

tprecious@buffnews.com


Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri | jterreri@buffnews.com


Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski | jzremski@buffnews.com

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