|Member of the New York State Assembly from the 148th District|
|Preceded by||Frank Walkley|
|Succeeded by||Vincent J. Graber|
|Member of the New York State Senate from the 59th District|
|Preceded by||Walter Floss|
|Succeeded by||Patrick Gallivan|
|Member of the New York State Senate from the 58th District|
|Preceded by||Thomas McGowan|
|Succeeded by||Anthony Masiello|
Dale Volker (born August 2, 1940) was a New York State Senator representing the 59th Senate District, which comprises Wyoming County, as well as portions of Erie, Livingston and Ontario Counties. Volker is a Republican. Senator Volker was first elected in a special election held in 1975 to fill a vacancy created by State Supreme Court Justice Thomas McGowan. Prior to this, Volker had served as a member of the New York State Assembly for two years.
Volker serves on the Codes Committee and is the "Chairman" of the Western New York Delegation, member of the Senate Subcommittee on Alcoholism, and member of the Senate Public Protection Subcommittee. Prior to 1987 he was Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Energy. His other committee assignments include the Senate Standing Committees on Banks, Cities, Crime Victims, Crime and Corrections, Finance, Judiciary, Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities and Rules.
Prior to his election the New York State Legislature, Volker worked several years as a member of the Depew Police Department.He holds a J.D. from the University at Buffalo Law School, and is a graduate of Canisius College. Volker is on record as a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
On April 30, 2010, Senator Volker announced his retirement from the New York State Senate.
An April 26, 2007 article in the Times Union, noted that Volker is a vocal opponent of Rockefeller drug law reform in the state. Volker helped put the original Rockefeller laws in place as a way of combating the commutation of drug sentences by downstate, and particularly NYC circuit judges. Gabriel Sayegh, author of the piece and project director of New York City's Drug Policy Alliance office, explains that Volker's district is heavily benefited by the state's prison industrial complex.
Volker has also suffered criticism for the use of private investigators to harass and intimidate voters who had signed petitions for his opponents. Volker also subpoenaed over 90 petition signers as part of a lawsuit to have challenger Kathy Konst removed from the ballot. Volker has also hired investigators to sift through Konst's records in Palm Beach County, Florida, for use in attack ads.
2008 Re-election campaign
Volker narrowly defeated a challenge in the 2008 Republican primary by former mayor David DiPietro, who ran on a platform charging that Volker has failed to serve the needs of western New York. Volker actually lost Erie County, but won on strong turnout in the more rural areas of his district.
Volker faced Kathy Konst, running on the Democratic ballot line, in the general election. Volker defeated Konst by a margin of 55.5% to 44.4%, losing the populous Erie County but faring well on high turnout in the rural areas.
Three Republicans were said to be challenging Volker for re-election in 2010.
|New York Assembly|
|New York State Assembly, 148th District
Vincent J. Graber
|New York State Senate|
|New York State Senate, 58th District
|New York State Senate, 59th District