From the Morning Memo:

Longtime Conservative Party official Jerry Kassar on Sunday was elected the organization’s new chairman, succeeding Mike Long.

“The next two years will write the future of our state and nation for decades to come,” Kassar said. “The election and re-election of conservative minded individuals to public office will be my focus.”

Kassar, a Brooklyn resident, defeated Erie County Conservative Party Chairman Ralph Lori in the bid for the party’s leadership.

Kassar has held various roles in politics over the decades, having worked for Gov. George Pataki and on the campaigns of Nicole Malliotakis for mayor of New York and John Faso for comptroller.

“I sincerely do not believe this moment would have been possible if not for the many years of mentoring that Mike Long provided me and for his friendship,” Kassar said. “His legacy as Chairman is broad and deep. I intend to protect it and expand upon it as we move forward as a Party.”

Long announced his retirement earlier this year. He was elected chairman emeritus on Sunday.

The Conservative Party has played a key role in statewide politics for Republicans over the last several decades, nudging the party to the right in the process. No Republicans has won statewide without the ballot line of the Conservative Party.