Albany, N.Y.-- George H. Winner, Jr. (R-Elmira), the region’s newly elected Senator, was sworn in today to begin his first term in the New York State Senate and he pledged to carry on a "tradition of accessibility and teamwork in representing the communities of the 53rd Senate District."
Winner succeeds former State Senator John "Randy" Kuhl, Jr., who succeeded Representative Amo Houghton in the 29th Congressional District. Winner’s 53rd Senate District is comprised of Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben and Yates counties, and a portion of Tompkins County.
At a Capitol swearing-in ceremony conducted in the historic Senate Chamber, Winner was joined by more than 60 colleagues and friends from the Assembly, Senate and throughout state government. Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno presided. The Oath of Office was administered by New York State Court of Claims Judge Judith A. Hard, a former Assembly floor counsel to Winner and the State Assembly Republican conference.
Before his election to the Senate last November, Winner served for 26 years in the Assembly beginning in 1979 – for much of that time as Assembly Minority Leader Pro Tempore under four Assembly Minority Leaders. Three of those Minority Leaders – Clarence D. "Rapp" Rappleyea, John J. Faso and current Assembly Minority Leader Charles H. Nesbitt – attended today’s ceremony.
Winner noted that he began his state government career in 1971, as counsel and legislative assistant to then Senate Deputy Majority Leader William T. "Cadillac" Smith of Big Flats. Smith served 24 years in the Senate, beginning in 1962.
"Returning to the Senate is like a homecoming. I began my career in state government in this house. Senator Smith welcomed me to the Senate with unforgettable candor, humor, and a philosophy of common sense. His voice spoke loudly in the Senate Chamber for 24 years and still echoes here today," said Winner. "So it’s great to be back and to have this opportunity to finish some important work, as well as to keep building a better and stronger foundation for the future of the Southern Tier-Finger Lakes region."
Winner said that he would continue to work closely with Kuhl, Assemblyman Jim Bacalles of Corning and with his successor in the Assembly, Tom O’Mara of Elmira, as well as with Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton of Tompkins County.
"We’ve established a tradition of accessibility and teamwork in government for this region. It’s been a valuable tradition for our constituents, and I look forward to joining forces in pursuit of our common goals," Winner said.
He added, "My Senate service will focus on fundamental principles. Accessibility to those you represent. Responsibility to the taxpayers. Economic and fiscal soundness. I will be doing everything I can to serve as a voice for these fundamentals of effective government."
Winner’s main district office will remain in Elmira (228 Lake Street, Box 588, Elmira, New York 14902) plans to establish a satellite office in Steuben County. Contact information for these offices will be finalized by the end of January. Constituents can contact his Albany office by writing to Room 802, Legislative Office Building, Albany, New York 12247, or by calling 518-455-2091.