Young Hits Hyson Over Residency

Republican state Sen. Cathy Young is taking aim at Democratic challenger Lee Hyson’s residency in the district after she said he’s been away from the area for some time.

During a recent debate between the candidates, Young questioned Hyson’s presence in the district as she referenced reports in which he said he hasn’t lived in the area for years. The attack came after Hyson said he’s from the area and decided to run because he cares about the Southern Tier. Young and Hyson are running to secure a seat to represent residents in New York’s 57th District, which is comprised of Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Allegany counties and a portion of Livingston County.

“You’ve said in other reports that you recently returned… and you kept your mothers address and you voted,” she said. “You’ve been away more than you’ve been here.”

In response, Hyson, a South Valley resident, stated that he went away for college and work and returned to Cattaraugus County in 2010 to start a small business making baseball bats. Hyson grew up in Salamanca and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, in 2005.

Hyson said work in the upstream oil and gas industry took him across the country and world to places such as the Rocky Mountains and Southeast Asia. Hyson worked as an engineer on behalf of an oil company to evaluate wells after they were drilled.

“I think you’re well established and you don’t have to call into question that I’ve been here,” Hyson said. “I’m running because I care about this area and this is where I’m from. I think we need to be focusing on population loss as the biggest issue and making it an affordable place is one of the key factors why people are moving away.”

In order to hold office in the Senate and Assembly, a candidate must be a resident of the state for five years per rules in New York state. The candidate must also reside in the district for 12 months immediately preceding election.

In her attack, Young also referenced Hyson’s absence during rallies to save Lakeshore Hospital in Irving.

“I’ve been there and you haven’t,” she said, adding her opponent is looking to join fellow New York City Democrats in the Senate.

“Saying that I’m going to represent the interests of New York City because I’m running with the Democratic Party is not true,” Hyson responded. “If I wanted to represent New York City, I would have moved there.”