Contact: Josh Hills, 518-455-3756
For Immediate Release:
Tuesday November 29, 2005

Tedisco Unanimously Elected Assembly Minority Leader
Makes history to become the first Minority Leader from Schenectady to lead the best, brightest and hardest working members of the New York State Assembly

State Assembly Minority members today unanimously elected Assemblyman James N. Tedisco (R,C,I - Schenectady-Saratoga) to succeed Charles H. Nesbitt as Minority Leader.

"I am grateful to my fellow Conference members for this opportunity and am truly honored to be entrusted with this position of leadership," said Tedisco. "The men and women of the Assembly Minority Conference are a group of the brightest, most dedicated and hardest working public servants with whom I have had the pleasure to work."

Tedisco said that he would be willing to work with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and the Majority on ways to improve the economy, education, healthcare and public safety, but cautioned that "there will be times that we will play the role of the loyal opposition."

Assemblyman Tedisco becomes the first Assembly Leader of his party from Schenectady County since Assemblyman Oswald D. Heck served as Speaker from 1937 to 1951.

Among the topics Tedisco outlined as his priorities as Minority Leader are civil confinement and other laws to protect our families from sexual predators, reducing the tax burden on New York families and passing an on-time budget for the second year in a row.

"By promoting the great ideas emanating from our Conference, we will move forward toward increasing the number of Minority members serving in the Assembly and make this state a lighter shade of blue," said Tedisco. "We have quality members on our side of the aisle who, in turn, have a goldmine of quality ideas. My plan is to tap into this wealth of ideas for the greater good of the eighteen and a half million New Yorkers we represent. This Conference will be member driven and each individual member will be given the respect they deserve."

Additional biographical information is attached.


110TH Assembly District (Parts of Schenectady & Saratoga Counties)
Minority Leader

James Nicholas Tedisco (R) graduated from Bishop Gibbons High School in 1968 and received his B.A. in Psychology from Union College. It was at Union College where Mr. Tedisco received numerous athletic awards for his talent on the basketball court, as well as other collegiate and civic awards for academics, character, community service and conduct.

Since his election to the Assembly in 1982, Assemblyman Tedisco has been a leader and outspoken advocate for reforming state government and the budget process. He has authored numerous bills designed to make government more accountable to the people and bring about an on-time budget.

Throughout his tenure in the Assembly, Mr. Tedisco has been recognized for his work on behalf of missing children and has authored a book on understanding the causes and consequences of stranger and non-stranger abduction. In his capacity as Chairman of the Assembly Minority Program Committee, Assemblyman Tedisco traveled across the State promoting legislative and budget reforms that would make government more accountable to the people.

From 1973-1982, Mr. Tedisco worked in the field of education, first as a guidance counselor, varsity basketball coach and athletic director at Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons High School in Schenectady, then as a special education teacher, resource room instructor and varsity basketball coach at Bethlehem Central in Delmar. Assemblyman Tedisco's entry into public service occurred in 1977 when, at the age of 27, he was elected the youngest Schenectady City Councilman at that time. He was re-elected by an overwhelming majority four years later.

In 1982, Jim Tedisco won a four-way primary to succeed long-time Assemblyman Clark Wemple, who had retired. Assemblyman Tedisco then went on to win the General Election. As a Freshman Legislator, Assemblyman Tedisco was named Ranking Minority Member of the Children and Families Committee. As a result of his work on Missing Children, Assemblyman Tedisco was appointed Chairman of the Assembly Minority Task Force on Missing Children. Following years of research, legislation and statewide public hearings on the subject, Assemblyman Tedisco authored a book in 1996 entitled, "Missing Children: A psychological approach to understanding the causes and consequences of stranger and non-stranger abduction of children".

Assemblyman Tedisco is active in many civic organizations. He is a member of the Sons of Italy, Schenectady Lodge 321; Principessa Elena Society in Saratoga Springs; Ballston Spa Elks Lodge No. 2619; Schenectady Rotary Club; Union College Alumni Association; Schenectady Big Brothers/Big Sisters; Friends of the Schenectady Museum; Center for HOPE; and serves as Honorary Chairman of the Vascular Birthmarks Foundation.

In addition to receiving numerous community and civic awards and honors, including being named the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award winner, and National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) 25th Anniversary Award, Assemblyman Tedisco was elected in 2002 as one of the first members of the Union College Athletic Hall of Fame.

Before his election as Minority Leader, Assemblyman Tedisco served as Assistant Minority Leader and is a member of the Assembly Ways & Means Committee, Racing & Wagering Committee, Rules Committee and Banks Committee.

New York State Assembly
[ Welcome Page ] [ Minority Press Releases ]