George S. Latimer

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George S. Latimer
Member of the New York Senate
from the 37th district
Incumbent
Assumed office
2013
Preceded by Suzi Oppenheimer
Personal details
Born (1953-11-22) November 22, 1953 (age 61)
Mount Vernon, New York, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Residence Rye, New York, U.S.

George Latimer (born November 22, 1953) is a member of the New York State Senate, for the 37th district first elected in 2012. He is a Democrat. He previously served on the Rye city council, in the Westchester County legislature, and in the New York State Assembly.

Born in Mt. Vernon, New York to Stanley and Loretta (née Miner) Latimer, he attended local public schools. He graduated with a B.A. from Fordham University in the Bronx in 1974 and received a Master's Degree in Public Administration (MPA) from New York University's Wagner School in 1976. He worked for two decades as a marketing executive in the hospitality industry for major organizations, including subsidiaries of Nestle and ITT.[citation needed]

Electorally, Latimer first ran for public office in 1987, and won a seat on the Rye City Council, finishing first in a field of 6 major party candidates. A Democrat in heavily Republican Rye, Latimer was elevated in 1991 to the Westchester County Board of Legislators, the first-ever Democrat to win the 7th District seat - Rye City, Larchmont Village, Mamaroneck Town and Village. He was re-elected in 1993, 1995 and 1997; in January 1998, Democrats won a majority of seats in the County Board for the first time in 90 years. Latimer was elected to chair the board, once again, the first Democrat to do so. He was re-elected to his legislative seat in 1999, and served a second term as chairman from 2000 to 2001.

During his tenure as chair, he was the first chair to widely pick members of the minority party (Republicans) to chair committees alongside Democrats. He presided over 3 budget adoptions that cut total County tax levy, FY 1999, FY 2000 and FY 2001. Latimer established cable television coverage of County Board meetings, and help shepherd major legislation on human rights, environmental protection, gun safe storage, and waste hauler regulations to passage. He led the board through the 2001 redistricting plan, including members of the League of Women Voters to the committee to ensure a balanced approached to districting.

Latimer did not seek a third term as chair in 2002, having been re-elected to his County seat in 2001 (6th Term). Westchester County Democrats elected him County Democratic Party Chairman in September 2002, where he served one two-year term. After re-election to the County Legislature in 2003 (7th Term), a year later, 2004, Latimer sought and won a seat in the New York State Assembly representing the 91st A.D. covering the Sound Shore communities of New Rochelle, Rye Brook and Port Chester alongside the communities of the County Legislative District. He defeated his Republican opponent Vincent Malfetano with over 68% of the vote, carrying all of the district's 7 cities, towns and villages.

Latimer was re-elected to the Assembly seat without opposition in 2006, and scored an impressive 71% in his 2008 victory over Republican Rob Biagi. His fourth term in 2010 came over Conservative Republican Bill Reed with 67%.

On the retirement of Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D) in January 2012, Latimer sought and received the Democratic and Working Families lines for the 37th Senate District, and battled Bob Cohen (R-C-I), a wealthy New York City landlord. The Senate seat was redistricted by the Senate GOP in 2012, taking away Democratic communities such as Chappaqua, Scarsdale, and parts of New Rochelle and White Plains, and adding Republican strongholds in Eastchester, Bronxville and the eastern portion of Yonkers. Nonetheless, Cohen spent over 4 times the amount Latimer raised, but Latimer prevailed after a tough, combative race, by nearly 10,000 votes - 54% to 46% - in one of New York State's top 5 closely watched Senate races.

In the Senate, Latimer has been named Ranking Member of the Senate Education Committee, and serves on a number of other standing committees. In the 2013 State Legislative session, Latimer had 8 bills passed the chamber - tied for 3rd most productive among the 26 Minority Democratic Senators.

External links[edit]

New York State Senate
Preceded by
Suzi Oppenheimer
New York State Senate, 37th District
2013–present
Incumbent
New York Assembly
Preceded by
Ronald Tocci
New York State Assembly, 91st District
2005–2013
Succeeded by
Steven Otis