John D. Caemmerer

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John D. Caemmerer (January 19, 1928 – February 7, 1982) was a New York State Senator representing what is now the 7th Senatorial District in northwestern Nassau County, New York.

Early Life & Career[edit]

John Caemmerer was born and raised in the Village of Williston Park. He was educated in local public schools prior to attending Xavier High School in Manhattan and later Notre Dame University and St. John's Law School. Prior to serving as a State Senator Caemmerer had served as Deputy Town Attorney for the Town of North Hempstead as well as Village Attorney for the Incorporated Village of Williston Park. Both before and after being elected to the New York State Senate Caemmerer was a principal in the law firms, Pratt, Caemmerer, & Cleary and later Farrell, Fritz, Caemmerer, Cleary, Barnosky, & Armentano. During this time Caemmerer served as a local Republican Leader and eventually North Hempstead Republican Committee Chairman from 1966 - 1972 in the Nassau County Republican Committee.

State Senate Tenure[edit]

Caemmerer was first elected to the New York State Senate in a special election in 1965 following the Supreme Court's ruling in regards to "one man, one vote" decision. Caemmerer first served as the Chairman of the State Senate's Committee on Villages and Local Government. After the death of State Senator Edward J. Speno, Caemmerer became Chairman of the Senate's Committee on Transportation in 1972.[1] Caemmerer served in this capacity until his death in February 1982.[2] While Chairman Caemmerer worked to increase penalties on drunk drivers while lowering the maximum allowable blood alcohol content from .15 to eventually .10 in New York State.[3] Caemmerer was also one of the first New York State Legislators to propose a mandatory seatbelt law in the state. Caemmerer was also involved in the first MTA capital plan for New York State. Many in the Senate feel that Caemmerer's crowning achievement was the passage of the child seat law in 1981. Caemmerer served in the Senate and as Chair of the Transportation Committee until his death from cancer in February 1982.

The Long Island Rail Road's West Side Yard was officially named the John D. Caemmerer West Side Yard because Caemmerer obtained funding to construct the facility.[4]


  1. ^ Clines, Francis X. (January 7, 1973). "L. I. Legislators Gain Key Posts". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-03-06. 
  2. ^ Chan, Sewell (August 3, 2005). "New M.T.A. Panelist Takes a Walk on the Wild Side: He Disagrees". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-03-06. 
  3. ^ Cliness, Francis X. (May 24, 1971). "Albany Tightens Drunk-Driving Laws In Day Mostly Devoted to Minor Bills". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-03-06. 
  4. ^ Voboril, Mary (March 26, 2005). "The Air Above Rail Yards Still Free". Newsday (New York). 
New York State Senate
Preceded by
Thomas A. Duffy
New York State Senate, 8th District
Succeeded by
Murray Schwartz
Preceded by
Edward Speno
New York State Senate, 5th District
Succeeded by
Ralph J. Marino
Preceded by
Norman J. Levy
New York State Senate, 7th District
Succeeded by
Michael J. Tully