Thomas F. O'Mara was elected to represent New York State’s 53rd Senate District on November 2, 2010. His district covers all of Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben and Yates counties, and a portion of Tompkins County (the city and town of Ithaca, and the towns of Enfield, Newfield and Ulysses).
On November 6, 2012 Senator O'Mara was reelected to a second term representing the new 58th Senate District, which will continue to cover the same geographical region: all of Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben and Yates counties, and part of Tompkins County (the city and town of Ithaca, and the towns of Enfield, Newfield and Ulysses).
[In the above photo, Senator O’Mara takes his Oath of Office in the historic Senate chamber on Tuesday, January 5, 2011. The senator’s wife, Marilyn, holds the Bible and they're joined by their three children (from front to back), Catherine, Thomas, and Caroline. The oath was administered by New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman.]
At the beginning of the 2013 legislative session, Senator O'Mara was reappointed chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Elections and, for the first time, as a member of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, one of the Legislature's two key fiscal committees which oversee the development of the annual state budget and most of New York's other economic and fiscal policies. In addition to his chairmanship and new position on the Finance Committee, Senator O'Mara was appointed to serve as a member on the following nine Senate committees: Agriculture; Banks; Codes; Energy and Telecommunications; Environmental Conservation; Insurance; Investigations and Operations; Judiciary; and Transportation. He has also been named as one of five state senators serving on the joint, bipartisan Legislative Commission on the Development of Rural Resources.
Prior to his Senate election, he represented the 137th Assembly District. He was first elected to the Assembly in 2004 and represented Chemung and Schuyler counties as well as part of Tioga County for three consecutive, two-year terms.
In the Assembly, he stood as a strong voice in Albany on behalf of his constituents in the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions. He was named Assistant Minority Leader Pro Tempore for the 2010 legislative session, the third-highest ranking position in the Assembly Republican legislative conference.
Senator O’Mara has been outspoken in his opposition to the out-of-control spending in Albany and a strong advocate for cutting waste in government, particularly in the state's burgeoning system of Medicaid. As Chairman of the Assembly Republican Task Force on Medicaid Waste, Fraud and Abuse, for example, he has examined ways to manage care, improve disease management and utilize cutting-edge data mining technology to save potentially billions of taxpayer dollars that are being lost to waste, fraud and abuse. In addition to his leadership role, he also served as a member of the Assembly Committees on Ways and Means, Energy, Banks, Ethics and Guidance, Judiciary and Tourism. As the ranking member on the Assembly Energy Committee, he worked to provide lower cost, more competitively priced energy for residents and businesses in New York State, while encouraging conservation efforts and fostering the use of renewable and clean energy.
Throughout his public service, Senator O’Mara has been guided by a long-held belief that “Government does not create jobs, business does.” That's why he’s focused on developing public policies and strategies that allow state government to improve the economic climate for doing business in New York by opposing tax increases, reducing state spending, overregulation and oppressive property taxes. In the Senate, he has been at the forefront of efforts to revitalize Upstate New York's manufacturing sector.
A former Chemung County District Attorney, Senator O’Mara has also served as Chemung County Attorney and as an Assistant District Attorney in both Manhattan and Chemung County. He holds a Juris Doctorate from the Syracuse University College of Law and a B.A. from the Catholic University of America, and is presently a member of the Davidson & O’Mara law firm in Elmira.
Active in his community, Senator O'Mara is counsel to the Chemung County Industrial Development Agency and a member of the Southern Tier Economic Growth Board of Directors, Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development, and the New York State Judicial Screening Committee for Chemung County. He is a former Director and Secretary of St. Joseph's Hospital in Elmira, a Trustee of the Horseheads Free Library, and a Board Member of the Wings of Eagles (formerly National Warplane Museum). He was the 2001/2002 Chairman of the American Red Cross Chemung/Schuyler Chapter and a Director there for seven years. He was a member of Chemung County Executive Tom Santulli’s Southern Tier Organization to Reform Medicaid (STORM).
An avid outdoorsman who enjoys fishing and camping, Senator O’Mara is a member St. Mary Our Mother Parish in Horseheads, the Sons of the American Legion, and the National Rifle Association (NRA), as well as the Farm Bureau of New York, Ancient Order of Hibernians - Elmira, Horseheads Elks, and Montour Falls Moose.
Senator O'Mara is a native of Chemung County, born and raised in Horseheads. He and his family currently reside in Big Flats.