State Lawmaker To Take Position With Cornell University
“Shocked” is how Chautauqua County’s state assemblyman reacted when he first head about the resignation of state Sen. Cathy Young, R-Olean, who announced Thursday she will be leaving to take a position leading the Center of Excellence for Food and Agriculture at Cornell AgriTech.
Andy Goodell, R-Jamestown, said Young’s resignation will be a huge loss for the region because she has been a phenomenal senator throughout her term. He said she works hard with unparalleled commitment to putting her residents first in Albany.
“We are all kind of shocked and we are in the beginning stages of evaluating who would run to best represent the district,” he said. “No doubt she will be sorely missed. She has made a lot of contributions to her district. Someone is going to have huge shoes to fill.”
Goodell said right now it’s too early to say if he will run if Gov. Andrew Cuomo calls for a special election to fill the term that continues through 2020. Goodell said he has even reached out to other local people in the Republican party to see if they have interest in running for the senate.
“The process has just begun. I would like to see who is available and who would like to run,” he said. “I’ve been approached by people for consideration and I’m also focused on who else is interested. We’re working as a team to find the best candidate for the position.”
Brian Abram, Chautauqua County Republican election commissioner, said it is only up to the governor to call for a special election. He said if Cuomo does then county election officials will have 70 to 90 days to poll the vote.
Abram said if Cuomo doesn’t call for a special election then the position will remain vacant until the start of 2020 with a special election automatically happening in November of this year.
Goodell said he hopes that Cuomo will call for a special election so the residents in the 57th district, which covers Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua counties, and portions of Livingston County, have someone to represent them in the senate.
“If he does (call for special election), it will be a quick election process. I’m talking days to weeks,” he said. “The advantage to a special election could be that we have a new senator by the end of the legislative session (which typically ends the third or fourth week of June).”
George Borrello, county executive, said Young has been a tireless champion for Upstate New York and she leaves big shoes to fill.
“The impact she has had on Chautauqua County will be felt for years to come as she was instrumental in securing funds for Chautauqua Lake, the Lake Erie Regional Grape Program, the rest area in the town of Ellery, and many others,” he said. “On behalf of all Chautauqua County residents, I thank Sen. Young for her commitment to our county and I wish her the best of luck in her new endeavor.”
According to Lisa Hill, Sen. Young’s communications director, Young’s resignation will officially take place March 10, with her starting the new job March 11.