Say No to Rampant Absenteeism: Senate Republicans Distribute Attendance Pledge Ahead of Vote on June Primaries

Consolidated Federal & State Primary Could Lead to Empty Chair Syndrome in Albany

Albany, NY— Ranking member of the New York State Senate Elections Committee Senator Cathy Young (R-Cattaraugus) and members of the Senate Republican Conference today called on every member of the New York State Senate to pledge perfect attendance in advance of legislation before the house to consolidate the date of federal and state primaries.

The pledge calls on each representative to commit their attendance every calendared session day in Albany from what could be the start of the petitioning process in March through the month of June, which would become the new primary season.

State primaries are currently held in September and federal primaries are held in June.

This promise reaffirms a commitment to the public and promises no repeat of the empty chair left by Adriano Espaillat, who twice abandoned his duties in Albany to run for a Congressional seat in New York City. In 2014, Espaillat missed more than any other member of the Senate, a total of 891 votes. During his first unsuccessful June bid, he even outpaced a Democratic Senator facing corruption charges in court. In 2016, again, Espaillat was derelict in his Senate duties and simply didn’t show up in order to win a Congressional seat in New York City.

“Every senator must remember that we serve the people, not ourselves. This pledge is a reminder that the people elect us to be their voices in the state capitol and they rely on us to be here, not absent and on the campaign trail as we have seen before. Empty chairs are simply empty promises to New Yorkers. Let’s show the public that we hold ourselves to the highest standards and sign this pledge,” said Senator Young.

The pledge, attached, was distributed to every state Senator. Every member of the Republican Conference has signed on.

The public will be updated on responses @nysenateGOP.