Rebel Rookies: Skoufis, Metzger making waves in new blue state Senate

James Walsh

March 23, 2019

Originally published in Times Herald-Record on March 23, 2019.

ALBANY — Jen Metzger, among the new crop of Democratic state senators, arrived a few minutes early one recent morning at the office of her fellow mid-Hudson legislator, James Skoufis, also a newbie in the Senate.

She said she wanted to wait for Skoufis before starting the interview. And why not? They’ve embarked on their first terms remarkably in tandem, staging joint town hall sessions with residents on myriad issues including the upcoming state budget and what climate change means for New York.

Her office, by the way, is next door to Skoufis’ on the eighth floor of the Legislative Office Building. There was a lottery for space. Skoufis decided to move next to Metzger’s when his turn came.

“Ever since the election, Jen and I speak almost every day,” said Skoufis, 31, no stranger to Albany after three terms in the Assembly.

The two are part of the wave of new senators, mostly Democrats, who wrested control of the chamber after a decade of Republican domination. The Democrats unseated five GOP incumbents and took three open seats. Two of the open ones were taken by Skoufis and Metzger, who beat back the chosen heirs of Sens. William Larkin and John Bonacic, respectively.