The Full Schumer turns 20.
With a stop in Washington County Friday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer completed his annual tour of every New York county. It's the 20th consecutive year he has visited all 62 counties since he was elected to the Senate in 1998.
According to a report released by Schumer's office, New York's senior senator made 135 visits to Long Island and upstate New York this year. His upstate swings included 21 stops in central New York.
On Friday, Schumer held a press conference at the Byrne Dairy plant in East Syracuse to speak out against a federal proposal to change the procurement for milk provided to military installations. The change would have a negative impact on Byrne Dairy and other small dairy producers, Schumer said.
Schumer's lone stop in Cayuga County was a press conference at Cayuga Milk Ingredients in April. He urged U.S. officials to ensure dairy production was part of negotiations with Canada and Mexico as the three counties discussed updating the North America Free Trade Agreement.
Outside of New York City, central New York was the second-most visited region for Schumer. Long Island topped the list with 27 stops. Schumer visited the Capital Region and Rochester-Finger Lakes region 19 times each. He made 16 visits to the Hudson Valley, and 13 each to the Southern Tier and western New York. He traveled to the North Country on seven occasions.
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"Two decades ago, upon my election to the United States Senate in 1998, I promised that each and every year I served I would visit all 62 of New York state's diverse counties," Schumer said. "Not only has this ritual remained a steadfast passion of mine because I get to see the absolute best that New York has to offer, but because of all I learn from my constituents."
The origin of the tour dates back to the 1998 Senate campaign. The incumbent senator, Alfonse D'Amato, questioned whether Schumer would be committed to upstate New York as a senator. Schumer embarked on a tour of upstate during the campaign.
Schumer went on to defeat D'Amato in that election. He won re-election in 2004, 2010 and 2016.
The tour has continued despite Schumer's leadership role. In 2017, he became Senate minority leader. The post comes with additional responsibilities and demands for his time. But he remains committed to visiting every New York county each year.
"Although I've gained the title of minority leader, my proudest and most principal titles have been, and will always remain, New York's senator and 'New Yorker,'" he said. "At the close of 20 years, my beliefs are as clear as ever: 'Senators who stay in Washington and never return home are simply not doing their job.' That's why I go to all of the street fairs, parades, graduations and public events that I can."