About Chris Jacobs

Republican Republican

District 60

Senator Chris Jacobs is the New York State Senator representing Western New York in the 60th Senate District, sworn into office in January 2017.  The district includes parts of the City of Buffalo, the City of Tonawanda, as well as the towns of Brant, Evans, Grand Island, Hamburg, Orchard Park and Tonawanda. 

In 2011 he was elected Erie County’s ninth County Clerk and re-elected in 2014, Chris is the first Republican Erie County Clerk in 40 years.

Raised in Buffalo, Chris Jacobs has been a vocal advocate for expanding local business development and improving educational options.  Prior to his election Chris owned Avalon Development, a real estate development company that focused on redeveloping older vacant buildings in Buffalo’s Theater, Cobblestone and Larkin Districts. 

In terms of education initiatives, Chris is a co-founder of the BISON Scholarship Fund.  BISON has raised over $13 million dollars over the last 18 years awarding nearly 20,000 scholarships enabling low and moderate income families to send their children to private grammar schools.  Chris was also the co-founder of The South Buffalo School, one of the first charter schools in Western New York.  The South Buffalo Charter is now a full k-8 grammar school and has been recognized as one of the best performing charter schools in the region.

In 2004 Chris was elected to the Buffalo Board of Education and was re-elected in 2009. For six years he served as the Board’s representative to the Joint Schools Construction Board, the entity charged with the $1.3 billion dollar renovation of all the Buffalo Schools, a national model for public/private educational reinvestment.

In 2006, Chris was appointed by then Governor George Pataki as New York Secretary of State.  Chris also worked for several years in Washington with former Congressman Jack Kemp when he was cabinet secretary at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  While at HUD Chris worked on the Kemp’s flagship legislation called Project HOPE (Homeownership and Opportunity for People Everywhere) which gave public housing residents homeownership and entrepreneurship opportunities.

Active in the community, Chris serves on the Boards of Buffalo Place, the Freedom Station Coalition and he is a past board member of the Catholic Academy of West Buffalo and the Olmsted Parks Conservancy. Chris has received numerous awards for his service to the community including the Pathfinder Award, The Rising Star Award, the 40-under-40 award and the Buffalo Urban League. He was also chosen in this year’s Business First 200 most influential people in WNY.

Chris received a law degree from SUNY Buffalo, an MBA from American University in Washington, DC, and a BA from Boston College.