Catharine Young

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Catharine Young
New York State Senator Cathy Young.png
Young (right) with Rep. Randy Kuhl
Member of the New York Senate
from the 57th district
Assumed office
May 11, 2005
Preceded by Patricia McGee
Member of the New York State Assembly
from the 149th district
In office
January 1, 1999 – May 10, 2005
Preceded by Patricia McGee
Succeeded by Joseph Giglio
Personal details
Born (1960-11-22) November 22, 1960 (age 56)[1]
Livingston County, New York[2]
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Richard[3]
Children three[3]
Residence Olean, New York[2]
Alma mater St. Bonaventure University[3]
Profession Politician
Website Official website

Catharine M. "Cathy" Young (born November 22, 1960)[1] is an American legislator who is currently a New York State Senator.[2] Since May 2005, Young has represented New York State's 57th Senate district, which includes all of Chautauqua County, Cattaraugus County and Allegany County, as well as the lower half of Livingston County.[2] Prior to serving as Senator, Young represented New York's 149th State Assembly district from 1999 to 2005.[2] She is a member of the Republican Party.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

A Livingston County native, Young grew up on a third-generation dairy and crops farm. She attended State University of New York at Fredonia, where she met her future husband, Richard. Following a transfer, she graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in mass communication from St. Bonaventure University.

Political career[edit]

Elections as Assembly Member[edit]

Catharine Young entered elective office at the age of 37 when veteran Republican New York State Senator Jess Present died in August 1998, near the end of his fifteenth term, and was succeeded by Republican Assembly member Patricia McGee, thus opening a vacancy for McGee's Assembly seat. Running on the Republican and Conservative Party lines, Young defeated her Democratic opponent Patrick Tyler 19,337 to 12,045. She won by even larger margins in the 2000 and 2004 elections and ran unopposed in 2002. During her time in the Assembly, Young was named to several top leadership positions, including Assistant Minority Leader Pro Tempore. She also favored "Penny's Law" which provided for juvenile justice reform.

State Assembly election results[edit]

  • November 1998 general election, NYS Assembly, 149th AD[4]
Catharine M. Young (REPCON) ... 19,337
Patrick A. Tyler (DEMIND) ... 12,045
  • November 2000 general election, NYS Assembly, 149th AD[5]
Catharine M. Young (REPINDCON) ... 30,980
James C. Gleason, Jr. (DEM) ... 10,799
  • November 2002 general election, NYS Assembly, 149th AD[6]
Catharine M. Young (REPINDCON) ... 26,444
  • November 2004 general election, NYS Assembly, 149th AD[7]
Catharine M. Young (REPINDCON) ... 35,013
Fred M. Scicchitano (DEMWOR) ... 11,786

Elections as Senator[edit]

When Patricia McGee died three months into her 2005 State Senate term, Young was nominated to replace her in the May 10 special election. Running on the Republican, Conservative and Independence Party, she achieved a decisive victory over her Democratic rival Nancy Bargar, 29,559 to 12,800.

Rarely facing more than token opposition in elections, she was unopposed in 2006 and won 78 percent of the vote against 2008 challenger Christopher Schaeffer.[8] In 2010 she defeated Allegany County legislator Michael McCormick by an 85–15 margin. Mentioned as a potential candidate in 2010 to run against Eric Massa for New York's 29th congressional district,[9] she stated that although the opportunity was "very tempting," her seat had to be retained in order to help Senate Republicans retake control of the chamber. The maintenance of her seat would give Upstate New York more of a voice in state government.[10]

Young ran unopposed in 2012 [11] and 2014.[12]

State Senate election results[edit]

Catharine M. Young (REPINDCON) ... 29,559
Nancy Gay Bargar (DEM) ... 12,800
  • November 2006 general election, NYS Senate, 57th SD[14]
Catharine M. Young (REPINDCON) ... 55,260
  • November 2008 general election, NYS Senate, 57th SD[15]
Catharine M. Young (REPINDCON) ... 82,766
Christopher H. Schaeffer (DEM) ... 23,400
  • November 2010 general election, NYS Senate, 57th SD[16]
Catharine M. Young (REPINDCON) ... 67,212
Michael J. McCormick (DEM) ... 12,121
  • November 2012 general election, NYS Senate, 57th SD[17]
Catharine M. Young (REPINDCON) ... 93,254

Tenure as Senator[edit]


Initially appointed to chair the Senate Agriculture Committee, and co-chair of the Administrative Regulations Review Commission, she also served on the Rural Resources Commission, Transportation Committee, Health Committee, Environmental Conservation Committee, Housing Committee, and Insurance Committee. During her time as Agriculture chair, Young streamlined and expanded agricultural programs and championed the Dairy Assistance Program which provided state resources to dairy farmers and, following the Democratic takeover in January 2009, had been the ranking member on the Committee.

In 2011, Young was appointed to serve as Chair for the Legislative Commission on Rural Resources and the Senate Committee on Housing, Construction, and Community Development.[18] She also has served as active member of the Senate Committees on Health, Agriculture, Environmental Conservation, Finance, Transportation, Rules, Insurance, and Children and Family Services Committees, as well as the Select Committee on State-Native American Relations.

In January 2016, Young was appointed as the first woman to serve as Chair for the Senate Finance Committee, where she will be tasked with reviewing the state's budget and reviewing some of the governor's appointments.[19]

She is a member of the Joint Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction,[20] which is dedicated to examining the rise in heroin and opioid abuse, improving addiction prevention and treatment options, and working to prevent drug-related crimes and the other negative community impacts that can result from addiction. Young also serves on the Task Force for Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases.

In addition to these roles, she is a member of the Interstate Compact on Juveniles, the State of New York Agriculture Task Force, the Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, the Legislative Women’s Caucus, and the New York State Armed Forces Legislative Caucus. She also founded the Legislative Wine and Grape Caucus and sponsored legislation creating the New York State Council on Food Policy, of which she is also a member.[21]

Political positions[edit]

Same-sex marriage[edit]

On December 2, 2009 she voted against the bill, which was not passed, to legalize same-sex marriage.[22] She again voted against the Marriage Equality Act when it came before the Senate on June 24, 2011; the bill passed nonetheless.

Women's Equality Act[edit]

Young voted in favor of the State Senate's version of the Women's Equality Act in June 2013, which did not include the State Assembly's provisions for expanding abortion.[23]

Support for areas declared disasters[edit]

In 2014, Young was recognized for helping to achieve the award of $700,000 in compensation monies from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for Gowanda, New York as a result of the devastating flood that occurred there in 2009.[24][25] In 2009, a flash flood devastated the village, causing two deaths. Four feet of flood waters swept through the village, and caused much damage.[24][25] The village was declared both a state and federal disaster site.[24][25]

Of the anticipated disbursement of FEMA monies to Gowanda, New York due to the 2009 flood damage experienced there, Young is quoted, stating in the January 31, 2014 edition of Dunkirk's Observer:
Our people suffered a great deal of hardship and heartache because of the devastating 2009 flood, and they should not have to shoulder the heavy financial burden of repairing the village's basic infrastructure. This release of long overdue FEMA dollars not only helps to heal these wounds, but it allows the village to move forward towards a brighter future. I commend Governor Cuomo and everyone who worked together to cut through bureaucratic red tape so that this progress finally could be made. It has a very positive effect on many lives.[25]

Personal life[edit]

Between legislative sessions in the state capital, Albany, Young resides with her husband and three children in Olean.[3] When the Senate is in session, she resides in North Greenbush, New York.

Young also holds the rank of major in the Civil Air Patrol.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "State Senate: Catharine M. Young (R), District 57". Capitol Info. Archived from the original on April 6, 2011. Retrieved April 14, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Senator Catharine M. 'Cathy' Young (NY)". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved April 14, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Catharine Young: Biography". New York State Senate. Retrieved April 14, 2011. 
  4. ^ "General Election Results, State Assembly: November 3, 1998" (PDF). New York State Board of Elections. December 15, 1998. Retrieved April 14, 2011. 
  5. ^ "General Election Results, State Assembly: November 7, 2000" (PDF). New York State Board of Elections. December 11, 2000. Retrieved April 14, 2011. 
  6. ^ "General Election Results, State Assembly: November 5, 2002" (PDF). New York State Board of Elections. December 13, 2002. Retrieved April 14, 2011. 
  7. ^ "General Election Results, State Assembly: November 2, 2004" (PDF). New York State Board of Elections. December 6, 2004. Retrieved April 14, 2011. 
  8. ^ Rukavina, Michael (November 5, 2008). "Young wins, state GOP loses". The Observer. Dunkirk, NY. 
  9. ^ 20th district result could affect Massa, Roll Call, 2 April 2009.
  10. ^ Young responds to Massa resignation, WGRZ, Retrieved 6 March 2010.
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ [2]
  13. ^ "Special Election Results, 57th Senate District: May 10, 2005" (PDF). New York State Board of Elections. 2005. Retrieved April 14, 2011. 
  14. ^ "General Election Results, State Senate: November 7, 2006" (PDF). New York State Board of Elections. December 14, 2006. Retrieved April 14, 2011. 
  15. ^ "General Election Results, State Senate: November 4, 2008" (PDF). New York State Board of Elections. December 4, 2008. Retrieved April 14, 2011. 
  16. ^ "General Election Results, State Senate: November 2, 2010" (PDF). New York State Board of Elections. December 13, 2010. Retrieved April 14, 2011. 
  17. ^ "General Election Results, State Senate: November 6, 2012" (PDF). New York State Board of Elections. December 20, 2013. 
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ [3]
  21. ^ [4]
  22. ^ News beats politics survey Archived February 11, 2015, at the Wayback Machine., New York News 1, New York, NY: Time Warner Cable, 2009.
  23. ^ State Senate passes historic women's legislation, Chautauqua Today, Dunkirk, NY: Chautauqua Today, 22 June 2013, Larson, G., Retrieved 10 February 2014.
  24. ^ a b c Gowanda to receive $700K in FEMA funding, The Post-Journal, Jamestown, NY: The Post Journal, 31 January 2014, Retrieved 3 February 2014.
  25. ^ a b c d Over $700K going to Gowanda, The Observer, Dunkirk, NY, 31 January 2014, Retrieved 10 February 2014.

External links[edit]

New York Assembly
Preceded by
Patricia McGee
New York State Assembly, 149th District
Succeeded by
Joseph Giglio
New York State Senate
Preceded by
Patricia McGee
New York State Senate, 57th District
Political offices
Preceded by
Patricia McGee
Chairperson of the Senate Agriculture Committee
Succeeded by
Darrel Aubertine
Preceded by
Pedro Espada
Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Housing, Construction and Community Development