Senate Republican Leader John J. Flanagan today announced he will appoint State Senator Joe Griffo (47th Senate District) as Deputy Minority Leader, where he will serve as second in command and run the floor operations for the incoming Minority.
Griffo, who represents the Mohawk Valley and Northern New York in his Upstate Senate district, has often been seen presiding over the chamber and possesses an unrivaled command of the rules of the New York State Senate. A former Mayor and County Executive, Griffo previously served as Chairman of the Senate's Committee on Energy and Telecommunications.
"No one knows more than Joe Griffo about the ins-and-outs of what happens on the floor of the State Senate. I am confident he will pursue every avenue and work every angle to allow us to be a vocal Minority and an aggressive voice for taxpayers and their families," Flanagan said.
In addition, Flanagan announced that Senator James Seward (51st Senate District) will serve as ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, where he will head up the Senate Republican response to the budget plans offered by Governor Cuomo and the incoming Senate Democratic Majority.
Seward, first elected in 1986, has previously chaired the Senate's Energy and Insurance Committees, and is a strong proponent for more jobs and business growth, especially Upstate.
"Jim Seward is a consummate professional who will make an outstanding ranker of the Senate Finance Committee. Our budget priorities will be widely known and well articulated, and we will stand up for taxpayers at every turn," Flanagan said.
Additionally, Senator Fred Akshar (52nd Senate District), a rising Republican star who won his initial Senate race for a Southern Tier seat with approximately 80 percent of the vote, will lead the Senate Republican Campaign Committee. He replaces Cathy Young, effective immediately.
"Fred Akshar is an enthusiastic Republican voice with an extraordinary work ethic. He will help us identify and pick up seats in 2020, and put the plan together to once again deliver Republicans a majority in the State Senate. I have full confidence in his ability to help us compete and win," Flanagan said.
"This unique leadership team will allow us to highlight our vision for New York's hard-working, middle-class taxpayers - - one that will promote a first-class quality education for our young people, greater opportunity for job seekers and entrepreneurs, and a more affordable state for residents and families. I am thrilled to have them by my side as we begin a new year and a new legislative session," Flanagan concluded.