About Joseph A. Griffo
Assistant Minority Leader
Republican, Conservative Republican, Conservative
Joseph A. Griffo, of Rome, represents Oneida, Madison and parts of Chenango and Herkimer counties in the New York State Senate, a position he’s held since 2007.
He currently holds the title of Assistant Minority Leader and is the ranking member of the Senate's Higher Education Committee. He also serves on the Transportation, Rules and Finance committees.
Griffo previously served as Deputy Minority Leader and as chairman of the Senate Energy & Telecommunications Committee, which oversees the development of legislation and policies related to the energy and communications sectors. The goal of the committee was to promote competitive markets, support private investment, streamline regulations, create jobs and keep consumer costs down, and its priorities include modernizing the state’s energy generation, transmission and distribution; facilitating expansion of renewable and clean energy technologies; and expanding high-speed broadband and other new communication technologies to underserved areas of the state.
Griffo also previously served on several other standing committees, including Codes; Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business; Crime Victims, Crime and Correction; and Racing, Wagering & Gaming. He also was a member of the Senate Select Committee on State-Native American Relations, the Senate Majority Task Force On Counterterrorism And Public Protection and the Joint Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction.
He also previously held the title of Deputy Majority Whip and is Co-chair of the New York State Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus.
Prior to his election, Griffo was Oneida County Executive from 2003 to 2006. His advocacy on behalf of Defense Department-related employment resulted in an increase of more than 600 jobs at Griffiss Business and Technology Park, an unprecedented accomplishment during Base Realignment and Closure Commission Hearings.
Griffo developed an eight-county coalition to fight the development of a statewide power line and, teaming with fellow county leaders, helped convince the state Legislature to reform the Medicaid program that was burdening county budgets.
While County Executive, Griffo was elected to the New York State Association of Counties’ board of directors and was a member of the New York State Accreditation Council.
Griffo was elected three times as mayor of Rome, starting in 1991. He protected the local hospital from closure and helped engineer an economic recovery following the closure of the Griffiss Air Force Base.
Then Gov. George E. Pataki appointed Griffo to serve on a blue ribbon panel on municipal lobbying as well as the state’s Mohawk Valley Heritage Corridor Commission. Former Comptroller H. Carl McCall also picked Griffo for the Comptroller’s Advisory Commission.
Griffo was president of the New York Conference of Mayors from 2000-2001 and was a board member of both that organization and the U.S. Conference of Mayors. He also co-chaired the Amtrak Mayor’s Council.
Before becoming mayor, Griffo was an Oneida County legislator, a director of community relations for Rome and an administrative assistant to the mayor.
His public service career started with an internship in Assemblyman James Hurley’s office. Griffo is a graduate of both Rome Free Academy and SUNY Brockport, where he earned magna cum laude distinction while receiving a bachelor’s degree in political science.
Griffo and his wife, Lorraine, an elementary teacher in Camden, reside in Rome.