U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer Thursday completed his record ninth 62 county tour of New York State with a visit to Rensselaer County.

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer Thursday completed his record ninth 62 county tour of New York State with a visit to Rensselaer County.

While a candidate for Senate in 1998, Schumer pledged to visit every county in New York during his first year as senator, a task he has completed every subsequent year, making him the first U.S. senator to visit every one of New York’s counties every year he has been in office.

“This was the closest to the edge, we nearly missed it this year because the session went five days before Christmas,” Schumer, D-NY, said as he visited Rensselaer County to talk about the need for more federal dollars for sewer systems.

He also toured the Port of Oswego later in the day to get a look at how the lack of routine maintenance dredging over the last three years has left the harbor increasingly treacherous for ships to navigate, an issue he and local officials have been pushing in Washington. He said federal legislation this week will allow the Army Corps of Engineers to transfer unused funds from other projects to do emergency dredging at the port.

“I like doing it,” Schumer said of the 62 county tour. “The senators who do the least of their job are the ones who stay holed up in Washington, whether you’re a Democrat, Republican, liberal or conservative.” He counts the annual visits as one of his biggest accomplishments.

This year, Schumer’s statewide tour included 15 trips to the Capital District, 15 to Erie County, 15 to Monroe County, 35 to Long Island, 14 to Onondaga County and 14 to the Westchester-Rockland area. He also made multiple trips to Ulster, Putnam, Oswego, Orange, Ontario, Oneida, Jefferson, Dutchess, Cortland, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Broome counties, as well as stops in Herkimer and Montgomery counties.


Schumer made his first-ever visit to the western edge of Montgomery County, and to the village of St. Johnsville, in late May to tour Cellect LLC and see first-hand the company’s recovery efforts after it sustained flood damage in June 2006.

In 2006, Schumer helped to secure a $1.5 million Small Business Administration loan to assist the maker of special plastic foam, as waters from the Mohawk River flooded the plant and threatened to shut the company down, jeopardizing ongoing operations and plans for future growth.

Scott Smith, owner, president and chief executive officer, said with Schumer’s help, and that of his selfless employees who worked around the clock, his company was able to process backlogged orders and get back on track to complete its expansion plan and add new jobs.


He also helped BeechNut and the United States Department of Agriculture find a solution to allow the company’s Canajoharie plant to continue to operate at full capacity. After production at the plant was jeopardized by changes in USDA food inspection procedures, Schumer worked with the USDA and BeechNut to provide temporary relief while negotiations took place. An agreement was reached in August to change the positioning of the inspection stamp on the baby food jars, allowing the inspection process to take place earlier in the production schedule and ensuring BeechNut’s ability to preserve its production line and continue to fuel the economy of the Mohawk Valley. Schumer has visited the BeechNut plant three times in the past as part of his annual 62 county tour.

The senator’s early July trip to Herkimer County afforded him the opportunity to visit with political and business leaders during a meeting on local issues. It also provided an opportunity to honor Little Falls Mayor Ted Wind, who was presented a citation for his 45 years of public service. Wind was honored to receive the citation, and thanked Schumer for being a friend to Herkimer County.

Despite his growing responsibilities in Washington, including his chairmanships of the Joint Economic Committee and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, as well as his leadership role in the Democratic Conference, Schumer said he continues to advocate on behalf of all New Yorkers. Among his other accomplishments this year, he delivered federal aid to regions hit by the February Nor’ Easter, brought more airport screeners and flights to upstate airports, eliminated blackouts of Buffalo Bills games and secured funds for Rochester’s Math and Science Center.