BREAKING: Sam Hoyt to Cuomo Administration (UPDATED)

30 Jun

We’re trying to get additional confirmation, but sources tell us that Sam Hoyt will be resigning his Assembly seat to go accept a job with the Cuomo administration.  We’ll update the site as more information trickles in.

UPDATE: It’s confirmed. Sam Hoyt has resigned the Assembly seat he’s held since 1993 and will be accepting a job with the Cuomo Administration at the Empire State Development Corporation. The now-vacant Assembly seat in A-144 will be filled by special election to be called by the governor. Names are already popping up, including City Councilman David Rivera, former Erie County Legislative counsel Sean Ryan, former State Senate candidate Sean Cooney and City Councilman Joe Golombek.  The winner of the special election would serve through the end of 2012, and a regular election would be held in November of that year.

We’re also hearing that this move is part of the same Erie County Democratic peacemaking that led to Len Lenihan’s resignation from his county party chairmanship, and unity more or less across the Democratic ticket for 2011.

UPDATE 2: I’m hearing that Sean Ryan is the likely nominee, already determined as part of the Democratic detente between ECDC, City Hall, and Grassroots.

UPDATE 3: Sam Hoyt has issued a statement:


Date:             June 30, 2011





Dear Friends:

Governor Cuomo has offered me an exciting and important opportunity within his administration, a senior position with the Empire State Development Corporation, about which more details will be available tomorrow. I have accepted his offer with enthusiasm, which necessarily means that I will also be stepping down after 19 years of service in the New York State Assembly. After the most productive legislative session I have experienced – both for me personally and the Legislature as a whole – I can hardly imagine a better moment to make this transition. The last few hours of this last session were by far the most thrilling I have been a part of in all of my years in the Assembly. I was proud to help Governor Cuomo pass key elements of his legislative agenda including SUNY 2020, the strongest property tax cap in the nation, and most historically, marriage equality for all New Yorkers, an issue I have advocated for years.

While the work of the Legislature will never be finished, this session marks the successful completion of many of the projects I have worked on throughout my career. One of my primary goals has always been revitalizing our upstate cities, with a focus, of course, on Buffalo. In the past three years, I have authored and passed into law three bills in particular that I believe will have a transformational impact on our upstate cities. They are the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit, the State’s first Smart Growth law, and most recently the Land Bank bill that was passed by both houses just two weeks ago. These three pieces of legislation have the potential to make a significant impact on the repopulation and revitalization of Upstate New York.

Over the past 19 years, I have worked hard to represent the interests of the people of the 144th District, not just in Albany but here at home as well. For me, elected office has been about more than legislation alone. It has been about helping the people in my district when they need it the most, and about making Buffalo a better place to live and work. Over the years, that has meant things like helping protect and preserve the historic H. H. Richardson Complex, stopping the closure of Children’s Hospital, and fighting for community-driven projects like the Jesse Kregal Bike Path along Scajacquada Creek and Black Rock Canal Park. It has also meant hours and hours of constituent service, helping the people of Western New York straighten out bureaucratic problems with Medicaid or unemployment insurance, lending a hand to block clubs in their efforts to clean up problem properties in their neighborhoods, and fighting to ensure that above all, the government works for the people.

Of course in my duties as a Legislator, I have also worked hard for my legislative successes. From the Protections for Health Care Workers Act to the Local Government Consolidation Law to Race to the Top education reform to the Main Street Grants Program and more, I have consistently fought for economic and social justice legislation that would benefit all New Yorkers. All of this work has culminated in the great accomplishments of this most recent legislative session.

It is no coincidence that the Legislature’s most successful year coincides with Governor Cuomo’s first year. I have long felt a sense of partnership with Governor Cuomo, indeed long before he was Governor. There has been no daylight between his priorities and my own. It has therefore not been difficult to conclude that the best way to advance those priorities further on behalf of Western New York and the entire state is to join his team.

I was first elected to the Assembly under sad circumstances – the seat opened upon the premature passing of my father, Bill Hoyt.  My initial motivation was to continue the family legacy – that of both Bill and my mother, Carol of progressive leadership. During the ensuring two decades that motivation has married well with the needs and aspirations of the people of Buffalo and Grand Island, who I have had the honor to serve. And while I enter this new phase under much happier circumstances, those motivations will continue to inspire me every day I will be working for the most dynamic leader this State has seen in generations.

Although this moment marks the end of my career in the Assembly, it is far from a goodbye. More than anything else, every success attributed to me has been a team effort. I am so grateful for the many dedicated staff members I have had over the years who made enormous personal sacrifices to serve along side me to help improve the lives of the people of the 144th District. Both in Albany and throughout the district, they worked long hours behind the scenes on legislation, local projects, constituent service, and beyond. It is through their efforts that I was able to represent the interests of the people of Western New York, and for that I am thankful.

All of you have been my partners in so many of those efforts as well, and Governor Cuomo and I will continue to need your support going forward. The future has never looked brighter. I am grateful for this new opportunity to get to that bright future, and I am eternally grateful for your help, support and friendship in our shared goal of getting there together.





23 Responses to “BREAKING: Sam Hoyt to Cuomo Administration (UPDATED)”

  1. John June 30, 2011 at 5:09 pm #

    Will he be allowed interns?

  2. Ray June 30, 2011 at 6:06 pm #

    What was with Sam letting Antoine show up for the announcement? Between this and him trying to show up at Kathy’s victory speech, he’s getting to be like Tourist Guy in the pictures

    • Alan Bedenko June 30, 2011 at 6:07 pm #

      Antoine as Zelig

  3. Jim Ostrowski June 30, 2011 at 6:17 pm #

    Sam, you mean you don’t want to experience the joys of making a living in the private NY economy you helped mold all these years?

  4. Kevin J. June 30, 2011 at 6:17 pm #

    As a Sam Hoyt/Len Lenihan Democrat, I feel I need to quote Artie Fufkin:

    Do me a favor. Just kick my ass, okay? Kick this ass for a man, that’s all. Kick my ass. Enjoy. Come on. I’m not asking, I’m telling with this. Kick my ass.

    • Alan Bedenko June 30, 2011 at 6:44 pm #

      I had a similar reaction, Kevin, and while it seems bad, I hear the person who’s most pissed off is Byron.

      Think of whom he has to deal with now at the ESDC for anything that comes along.

  5. RaChaCha June 30, 2011 at 6:24 pm #

    @Ray, if you mean the photo on Bob McCarthy’s article, that’s a file photo from last summer — with then-DEC Commissioner (and Sam’s former Assembly colleague) Pete Grannis.

  6. RaChaCha June 30, 2011 at 6:29 pm #

    As much as I’ll keenly miss having Sam as my Assemblyman, WNY can really use someone like him well-positioned at Empire State Development. I can’t wait to hear more about the specifics.

  7. Ray June 30, 2011 at 6:32 pm #

    Thank you, Ra. I was starting to worry he would be showing up as an UFA accidentally signed by the Sabres tomorrow.

  8. Tom Dolina June 30, 2011 at 6:51 pm #

    Yes, if Brown got a position in the Cuomo admin, then Cuomo could have gotten 100% of the Buffalo vote next election for governor, as well as the key to the city awarded by the next mayor…

  9. Joe Genco June 30, 2011 at 8:56 pm #

    I thought I knew who Sam Hoyt was. He just confirmed it. Sorry for those of you who had some shred of idealism left.

  10. King Kong June 30, 2011 at 9:20 pm #

    Thankfully the Assembly will be ridded of another Shelly Silver apologist and totally useless legislator from WNY who spent more time opposing Byron Brown than he did accomplishing anything meaningful.  I do not know anything about Sean Ryan, I will give him the benefit of the doubt, but hopefully he will not be one to roll over at Boss Shelly’s commands.

    • Alan Bedenko June 30, 2011 at 9:54 pm #

      Byron Brown is a useless caretaker who is reportedly seething that Sam, and not he, got a Cuomo job. The problem for Byron is that Cuomo knows he, Casey, and Pigeon are the problem, and they’re all now on the Governor’s short list of shit. They’re being closely watched in Albany because Cuomo wants Byron’s ally, Collins gone.

      Sam may not be perfect, but to backhandedly dismiss him and his accomplishments is a low blow coming from you. He’s got a family, a mortgage, responsibilities, and a record of achievements. As a politician, sure he’s political. But he isn’t as bad as people make him out to be, and he’s a great advocate for the city and region.

      Regrettably to some, not everyone pines for the days of Lenny’s predecessor, who left the party broke/in debt, divided, unable to win, and a transactional fuckpit.

      We’ve happily moved on from that. It’d be swell if other Democrats would follow suit.

      Andrew Cuomo is the most powerful and popular Democrat in New York State. He picked Sam. That says something.

      I’d recommend you calm your tone.

  11. Kevin J. June 30, 2011 at 9:24 pm #

    If Sam is the person Byron has to deal with, I guess there will be some poetic justice, but it doesn’t bode well for Buffalo, and I take little comfort in any possible discomfort for Brown, Alan.

    As for the alleged Democratic detente, when does the other side or do the other sides pay a price and/or make a sacrifice? Compromise means all sides give/give in on something. Brown is already saying he is not taking sides in the County Executive race, and he all but danced on Lenihan’s grave when he announced he was resigning for the state Democratic post. 

  12. Harry T. Stone June 30, 2011 at 10:32 pm #


    I give credit to Sam, he is a progressive who advanced a lot of good legislation for Buffalo, but to say Byron is pissed he wasn’t offered a job is flat out erroneous. Cuomo offered Brown a commissioner position which he declined. Also, what the hell does Sam Hoyt having a mortgage have to do with anything?!

    • Alan Bedenko July 1, 2011 at 6:16 am #

      Bringing up the fact that Hoyt is a responsible adult was specifically directed at Mr. Kong, who should learn some self-awareness and respect.

  13. Mr. F.N. Magoo June 30, 2011 at 10:38 pm #

    “King Kong wrote:

    Thankfully the Assembly will be ridded of ”

    …rid of….

    Daniel Webster ain’t got nuthin’ on you.

  14. Mike In WNY July 1, 2011 at 12:44 am #

    A fitting move for Hoyt. From a waste of a $79,500 per year taxpayer funded position to a Senior Corporate Welfare Specialist.

  15. RaChaCha July 1, 2011 at 8:08 am #

    Referring to ‘King Kong’ as ‘Mr. Kong’ — allusion to NYT Style Manual–? Love it!

  16. wolfpack July 1, 2011 at 8:26 am #

    ESDC has been a Republican bastion of keeping the money downstate. It is time for Cuomo to show us his plans. Sam certainly has experience in what WNY needs. I wish him and us good luck. Sean Ryan is not the right person for the job. He may be no more than a hack.
    I wish Joe Golombek would run for the seat one more time. Joe would be excellent.

  17. newwayofthinking July 1, 2011 at 8:28 am #

    From what I know, Steve Pigeon was actually involved with the Dem detente deal. Don’t be surprised if his partner in crime, Jack O’Donnell eventually gets the Dem Chair as Steve’s part of the pie. Crangle is just keeping that seat warm. Byron got his with Sam stepping down. His vindictiveness led to him getting shortchanged. When all is said and done, the Higgins/Eaton team will get the most, including jobs for South Buffalo cronies. Remember, all those Deputy Commissioner jobs here in Buffalo will be replaced with new faces just as Ken Schoetz got shitcanned from his ESDC job for Sam Hoyt.

  18. King Kong July 1, 2011 at 9:23 pm #

    Magoo – You’re right, there was an error, I was using my phone when I wrote that so excuse my lack of perfect English in that situation.

    Mr. Bedenko – Wow. If you actually read my post, you would see that I made no criticism of Mr. Hoyt’s family, personal responsibilities or mortgage. I simply pointed out his lackluster delivery for Western New York and his propensity for going to war with the Mayor of the city that he represents rather than trying to work with him. I also pointed out that he’s an apologist for the Speaker, which is true, he has voted for his re-election and does not call him out publicly. As for the BS argument that you’re about to make that he has to vote for the speaker in order to remain in Albany and/or get anything done, I point you to Mark Schroeder, who has had landslide victories with no primaries and wins general elections (when he has them) by much larger margins than Hoyt’s 55 percent last time. Just take a look at Seneca Street, or his passage of Amanda’s law, Leandra’s law or his advocacy for autism all in 6 years while voting against the Speaker twice. Hoyt on the other hand has accomplished marginally as much in 18 years. I am really not interested in Mr. Hoyt’s personal life.

    I got it though, if you do not have a mortage or a family then you are not allowed to be critical of the political/governmental decision an elected official makes that does. If you, Mr. Bedenko, feel the need to turn a comment being critical of the fact that Hoyt wars incessantly with the Mayor and votes with Boss Shelly, then I say to you, en garde!

  19. King Kong July 1, 2011 at 9:23 pm #


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