ALBANY – With Catherine Young (R-Olean) no longer in the State Senate, the state’s 57th senate district is without a representative.
Since May 2005, Young had represented the district, which includes all of Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, and Allegany Counties, as well as the lower half of Livingston County.
But at the end of February she made a sudden and unexpected announcement that she would be resigning from office to take a job at Cornell University as director of the New York State Center of Excellence for Food and Agriculture. She begin her new role on Monday, March 11, a day after officially leaving the Senate.
Without Young in the Senate, the region is without representation during the final two weeks of the annual state budget process. That’s a stark contrast to just one year ago, when Young – who was then in the majority party – served as chair of the state Senate finance committee, which oversees the state budget process in the Senate.
The news of Young’s departure caught many off guard and while there has been some discussion on who would step forward to fill her vacated seat, that can’t happen until Governor Andrew Cuomo calls a special election through a proclamation. That could come prior to the November General Election, or the seat could remain vacant until that time.
WRFA has reached out the to governor’s office to see whether or not he’s selected a date for a special election but so far we’ve not received a response.