Governor Needs To Call For A Special Election To Fill Seat

There will be a time to better reflect on the enormous impact state Sen. Catharine Young has had on the 57th Senate District.

Today, however, we turn our attention to the future.

Young’s last day in the Senate will be March 10. Once she leaves, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany counties, as well as part of Livingston County, have no one in the state Senate watching over their interests as state dollars are divvied up. A couple of hundred thousand Western New Yorkers will essentially have no voice in the state Senate during the home stretch of state budget deliberations. Compare that to a year ago, when those same residents had one of the state Senate’s most powerful voices working on their behalf.

Those residents should not remain voiceless any longer than absolutely necessary. Gov. Andrew Cuomo can call for a special election, which could result in an election happening within 70 to 90 days after the governor’s order. 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. State business is too important to this region — particularly with the breakneck pace being set for the first three months of 2019 — to have three New York counties effectively sidelined.

The governor should call a special election. Western New Yorkers deserve to have their voice heard in the state Senate this year.