New York Assemblyman Bob Reilly (D) has announced that he will not seek reelection at the end of his fourth term. Reilly is largely known in the MMA world for his opposition to MMA in New York and his support from the culinary union.
Reilly has represented New York’s 109th District since 2004 and while vilified in the MMA community for his opposition of MMA, he is well-respected in his home district. Reilly is known outside of MMA for his work for public education, his work on tightening laws on sex offenders, and for donating his NY Assembly pay to various charities.
Reilly’s reasons for stepping down were part of his official statement:
“I believe a limited term of service is integral to the concept of a citizen legislator. I do not want to morph into a professional politician.”
While the move has excited various MMA sites, it is important to remember that Reilly was also known for being a strong representative of his constituents. So the man likely to follow him, Kevin Frasier, is unlikely to have a supportive view of MMA as well.
It also is important to note that a poll of New Yorkers taken in 2010 revealed that 68% were not in favor of legalizing the sport. That number changed drastically among different age demographics, with younger voters unsurprisingly more in favor than older voters. While some criticized the phrasing of the poll question, the numbers were still pretty strong against MMA.
Current NY Governor Andrew Cuomo has joked about wanting to legalize MMA for press conferences but has stated he has no official position on the sport, stating:
“I understand the proponents argue it would be an economic development miracle and we need economic development, and so I understand the potential appeal, but I have not gone through it specifically.”
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