Blair Horner, the veteran legislative director for NYPIRG, is leaving to become the vice president of advocacy for the American Cancer Society of New York and New Jersey.
“It is true. I’m moving on,” Horner told Gannett’s Albany Bureau this afternoon. “It was an exciting opportunity to work on health-care issues, and I’ve always been interested in health-care issues and I worked on them at NYPIRG.”
Horner has been one of the leading watchdogs in Albany for decades, leaving only for yearlong stint in the attorney general’s office under Andrew Cuomo to start Project Sunlight.
Horner has pushed for ethics and campaign-finance reforms in Albany, and started with NYPIRG in 1979 and has been in Albany as its chief lobbyist since 1984.
Horner has also jarred with the Cuomo administration since his former boss took office as governor, in part over a Cuomo proposal to cap medical malpractice awards — something that ultimately was scrapped.
“When you talk about change and reform in Albany, you talk about Blair Horner,” said Donald Distasio, CEO of the American Cancer Society of NY & NJ. “Now that Blair has the opportunity to lead our vast network of volunteers and expand efforts in the rest of New York and into New Jersey, there’s no limit to what we can accomplish. Blair will be a significant addition to the American Cancer Society and the fight against cancer.”