Bill Nojay

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Bill Nojay
Nojay (left) waiting the start of the 2014 Memorial Day parade in Conesus, New York.
Member of the New York State Assembly
from the 133rd district
In office
January 1, 2013 – September 9, 2016
Preceded by David Gantt by redistricting
Personal details
Born William Nogaj
(1956-11-24)November 24, 1956
Rochester, New York, U.S.
Died September 9, 2016(2016-09-09) (aged 59)
Rochester, New York, U.S.
Cause of death Suicide by firearm
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Debra[1]
Children 3
Alma mater Colgate University
Columbia University
  • Politician
  • attorney
  • radio host
Website Official website

William R. "Bill" Nojay (born William R. Nogaj; November 24, 1956 – September 9, 2016) was an American politician and member of the New York State Assembly.[2] He represented the 133rd Assembly District, which includes parts of Steuben and Monroe counties and all of Livingston County.[2]

Early life[edit]

Nojay was born and raised in Rochester, New York,[1] where his father worked at Eastman Kodak.[2] His surname was originally "Nogaj", but he changed the spelling to match the pronunciation.[3] He earned a bachelor's degree from Colgate University and graduated from Columbia University with degrees from their law school and business school.[4]


In 1996, Nojay was appointed by Governor George Pataki as commissioner of the Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority.[2] He also served on the Executive Committee of the Genesee Transportation Council and as chairman of the Regional Trails Initiative Steering Committee for the Rochester region, and as chief operating officer of Detroit’s transportation system under Mayor Dave Bing.[2]

Nojay had a long history of support for international democratic movements. He worked in Nepal, Ukraine, Afghanistan, and Libya. He also worked extensively inside Cambodia on behalf of the Khmer People’s National Liberation Front. He was the director and secretary treasurer of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran, a group that advocates for democracy in Iran.[5]

After redistricting, Nojay challenged and defeated Steuben County Legislator Randy Weaver, winning a vacant seat in the newly created 133rd Assembly District.[6] He also hosted a regionally syndicated conservative talk radio show, which predated his election to the state legislature. The program originated from WYSL.[citation needed]

Nojay supported Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, and he served as co-chair of its New York campaign committee.[1] He had asked Trump to run for governor of New York in 2013.[1]


On September 9, 2016, Nojay committed suicide by firearm near his family's plot at Riverside Cemetery in Rochester, New York.[1][7] He was due in court that day to face fraud charges related to his legal work, which were subsequently sealed.[3][8]

Nojay was already running for re-election as assemblyman, and the following Tuesday, September 14, 2016, he posthumously defeated Richard Milne, his challenger in the primary election for the Republican nomination.[9] As a result, a Republican party committee selected former Assemblyman Joseph Errigo to replace Nojay in the general election,[10] which Errigo won.[11]

Assembly committees[edit]

  • Committee on Cities
  • Committee on Consumer Affairs and Protection
  • Committee on Election Law
  • Committee on Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development
  • Committee on Transportation


  1. ^ a b c d e Yee, Vivian (September 9, 2016). "Bill Nojay, Upstate Assemblyman, Dies After Shooting Himself at a Cemetery". New York Times. Retrieved September 14, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Bill Nojay: Biography". New York State Assembly. Retrieved April 23, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Sharp, Brian; Spector, Joseph (September 9, 2016). "Assemblyman Bill Nojay commits suicide near family graves". Democrat and Chronicle. Retrieved September 9, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Bill Nojay". Retrieved September 9, 2016. (Subscription required (help)). 
  5. ^ "Bill Nojay | For 133rd NYS Assembly". Retrieved September 9, 2016. 
  6. ^ Simon, Neal (November 7, 2012). "Nojay wins Assembly seat, defeats Weaver in 133rd district". The Evening Tribune. Retrieved September 9, 2016. 
  7. ^ Lovett, Kenneth (September 10, 2016). "Upstate Assemblyman Bill Nojay dies in apparent suicide". New York Daily News. Retrieved September 10, 2016. 
  8. ^ Staff (September 9, 2016). "RPD: NYS Assemblyman Bill Nojay died by suicide". WHAM. Retrieved September 9, 2016. 
  9. ^ "NY GOP Lawmaker Wins Primary Days After Killing Himself". New York Times. Associated Press. September 14, 2016. Retrieved 19 September 2016. 
  10. ^ "GOP Chairmen Pick Replacement for Dead Primary Winner". New York Times. Associated Press. September 14, 2016. Retrieved 19 September 2016. 
  11. ^ Murphy, Justin. "Errigo, Bronson, Johns Win in Assembly". Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. Retrieved 10 November 2016. 

External links[edit]

New York Assembly
Preceded by
David F. Gantt
New York State Assembly, 133rd District
January 1, 2013 – September 9, 2016