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A Written History Of The Association of New York State Young Republican Clubs, Inc.

The Early Years: 1856-1931

The Young Republican movement in New York State is almost as old as the Republican Party itself. The first record of a Young Republican Club in New York State-operated in New York City in 1856 under the name New York Young Men’s Republican Union, just three years after the Republican Party ran John Fremont as its first presidential candidate. A year later, the club played a role in helping elect Abraham Lincoln as the first Republican President in American history.

For a period after that, there is very little about the Young Republicans. Perhaps it may have had something to do with the Civil War and the fact that a great deal of New York’s youth were serving in that war. 

It was not until 1879 with the New York Young Men’s Republican Club that we saw evidence of another Young Republican movement in the state. It was during that time that the Republican Party wasn’t too successful. It appears, historically speaking, that Young Republican groups were at their strongest during a senior party decline.

However, it was not until April 1911, when the Republican Party was pretty weakened, that we saw the modern-day Young Republican movement take shape. In that year, the present-day New York Young Republican Club came into existence. The organization was formed to give young men the ability to have a voice in the local political scene. Women were excluded from membership in the county organization as late as the mid-1970s, and when they were finally admitted, it was because of a decline in membership. This county organization was incorporated on February 19, 1912.

Throughout the years, the founders and future members of the New York Young Republican Club have read as sort of a Who’s Who in Republican Politics. Some of the prominent members have included: Herbert Brownell, who was elected to the New York State Assembly in the early 1930s in a district held by the Tammany Democratic organization. He was later elected as Republican National Committee Chairman in 1944. Later on, he was appointed Attorney General in the Eisenhower administration. John Foster Dulles, where Dulles Airport in Virginia is named, was appointed Secretary of State in the Eisenhower administration. Other prominent members of the county organization included: Thomas E. Dewey, Governor of the State of New York from 1943-1954; Thomas Desmond, a longtime State Senator from Orange County, NY.; John M. Harlan, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, Louis Lefkowitz New York State Attorney General from 1956-1978, John V. Lindsay, Mayor of the City of New York from 1966-1973, among many others.

The county organization was very active in the 1920s and ’30s and would produce some of the young leaders, who would seize the initiative and create a state organization.

The Birth of a State Organization: 1931-1932

The idea of having a state and national Young Republican organization began to take shape around 1931.

By 1932 America was feeling the grips of the Great Depression. The Republican Party was in chaos. The laissez-faire policies of Republican President Herbert Hoover during the depression were losing the support of the impoverished and starving masses. The party had already lost control of Congress, and in November of 1932, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the Democratic Governor of this state, was elected President of the United States.

The New York State Republican Committee held their convention that year in Buffalo to choose a candidate for Governor. Attending that convention were many members of the New York Republican Club and many younger Republicans from throughout the state. Realizing that American democracy was being threatened by the depression, the young Republicans gathered at Buffalo felt it would be beneficial to pool their resources together and become one organization.

On October 2, 1932, in a vacant storefront in the old Gerron’s Building in Buffalo, the Association of New York State Young Republican Clubs was born. Attending that first meeting were: George Sibley and David Peck from the New York Young Republican Club, Walter Mahoney, Jean Martin, John Allan, Daniel Boone, Leo Gabriel, Cornelius O’Rourke, and Ray Biondolillo, all of Buffalo. Ralph Becker, Burton Meighan, Basil Filardi, and William Ross are all from Westchester County. As well as Louis Kileen of Schenectady, Roger Nash of Oswego, Wheeler Milmoe of Madison County (Future State Assemblyman), Fred Stang of Kingston, William Webb, Paul Lockwood, and George McKenzie all of Brooklyn. George H. Sibley of the New York Young Republican Club was made acting President. Almost immediately, leaders in the senior party questioned the motives of the new youth organization.

Over the next couple of years, the state association and its county chapters found a home in the Republican Party. With time, party leaders saw the advantages of a solid Young Republican organization.

A State Association Takes Shape: 1933-1949

In May of 1933, the first Annual Convention of the Association of New York State Young Republican Clubs was held in Schenectady. George Sibley was re-elected as President. John Ward of Buffalo was elected Chairman of the Board of Governors. Other officers and members of the Board of Governors were elected as well. At the convention, the first Constitution and by-laws were written, and the Association began the process of incorporation.

On July 11, 1934, the Association incorporated and officially became known as the Association of New York State Young Republican Clubs, Inc. Also, on May 10 of that year, the second Annual Convention was held at White Plains. Mr. Sibley was re-elected as President, and Louis Kileen of Schenectady was elected Chairman of the Board of Governors. The Association adopted a “Declaration of Purposes and Principles,” which outlined the Association’s stand on issues concerning the state and the nation at that time.

The new Association went through many growing pains in its first few years. A rift developed between conservative up-staters and moderate down-staters. This conflict reached a boiling point at the June 1935 Alexandria Bay Convention held in Jefferson County. The convention was so notable that it made the front page of the New York Times on two occasions. The main point of friction agreed to specific planks in the platform. The conservative faction was victorious in their arguments. At that convention, Walter J. Mahoney of Buffalo succeeded George H. Sibley of New York City. Paul Lockwood of New York City succeeded Louis Kileen as Chairman of the Board of Governors. A significant event that also occurred at that convention was giving equal representation to women on the Board of Governors.

1935 also marked the founding of the Young Republican National Federation. The national federation was founded in November of that year in Des Moines, Iowa. George Sibley, the first president of our Association, played a prominent role at that first meeting. Ex-President Sibley became our first National Representative. He was also designated by the YRNF to be the first “Regional Director” for the New York, New Jersey, and Delaware areas.

The 1936 Convention was held in Jamestown. Both President Mahoney and Board of Governors Chairman Lockwood were re-elected. As with every annual convention, a platform outlining the Association’s stand on the issues of the day was adopted. The Association worked very hard on the 1936 campaign.

President Walter Mahoney was elected to the New York State Senate in November of 1936 and took office in January of 1937. As a result of his successful election, he resigned from the Presidency of the state association. Years later, Mr. Mahoney would become the New York State Senate Majority Leader and a Supreme Court Justice from the 8th Judicial District. A state office building in Buffalo bears his name. Donald F. Boyle of Amsterdam served the remaining months of Mr. Mahoney’s term. Through negotiations with the Republican State Committee, President Boyle successfully secured a seat on the New York State Republican Executive Committee for the state association in 1937.

The 1937 convention was held at Syracuse. Alfred L. Simon of Ballston Spa was elected President, and Ernest D. Leet of Jamestown was elected as Chairman of the Board of Governors.

The new Constitution outlined the continued advancement of women’s rights in the organization and By-Laws adopted. A Vice President of the opposite sex was provided for women regional Vice Chairs and Co-Vice Chairs. Florence E. Barnett of Syracuse was chosen the first female Vice President.

While we are on the subject of advancing women’s rights in the Association, it would be wrong not to mention the many women who played a role in the formation of our state association. Many of them traveled the state, encouraging women to become politically active. Among the early female leaders in the Association was Mrs. Marion Kreinheder, who served as secretary and later vice president of the state association. Other active and notable women in the Association included: Mrs. Marion Crain, Mrs. Florence Barnett Lane, Mrs. Violet Herron Donaldson, Mrs. Merill Meyer, Mrs. Margaret Eaton, Mrs. Caroline Bareham Dineen, and Mrs. Jeanette Anderson.

Elections were held in 1937 for Delegates to the State Constitutional Convention. Board of Governors Chairman Ernest Leet and former Board Chairman Paul Lockwood were elected to the convention. 1937 also marked the election of state association President Alfred Simon as District Attorney of Saratoga County and New York Young Republican Club member Thomas E. Dewey as DA of New York County.

The 1938 Convention was held in Niagara Falls. The platform passed contained many recommendations to the Constitutional Convention, modernizing New York’s 1894 State Constitution. Alfred Simon was returned as President, and Marion Kreinheder of Buffalo was chosen as Vice President. DeWitt C. LeFevre of Beaver Falls was selected to chair the Board of Governors.

The Republican State Committee Convention held in 1938 included so many Young Republicans in attendance it seemed like a second meeting of the year. The convention nominated former Young Republican Thomas E. Dewey as Governor. Although he was not successful in 1938, Dewey would be elected Governor in just a few short years in 1942. Young Republicans were asked by the State Committee to actively head up a first voters program to bring more young voters into the Republican Party.

At the end of 1938, the Association of New York State Young Republican Clubs, Inc. consisted of 45,000 individual members belonging to 171 clubs in 56 of New York’s 62 counties.

The 1939 Convention was held from May 26-28, at the Hotel New Yorker, in New York City. Ernest D. Leet of Jamestown was elected President, and Marion Kreinheder was returned as Vice President. Harold C. Tipping of Scotia was elected as Chairman of the Board of Governors.

The Association of New York State Young Republican Clubs, Inc. continued to expand during the 1940s. A great deal of progress was made under the able-bodied administrations of Presidents like Ralph Becker. President Becker was elected as Chairman of the Young Republican National Federation in 1946 and served until 1949. He later served as Ambassador to Honduras. Also serving as President during the 1940s were Jean Martin, Joel Mencher, Charles Hamilton, Jr, and Morrie Slifkin, later a Supreme Court Justice from the 9th Judicial District. Mailers were sent throughout the state encouraging people to join the organization, and many new county chapters were added.

The Era of Prosperity: 1950-1975

The 1950s was the start of an era of great prosperity for the state association. Except for the four years in which Averill Harriman was Governor, Republicans were in firm control of the state. Young Republicans took great interest in the issues facing the state and nation at the time, going as far as adopting a resolution in March of 1950 approving the actions being taken by Senator Joseph McCarthy (R-Wisconsin) concerning communists in the United States Department of State. This era of prosperity lasted until the defeat of the Republican Party in the mid-1970s.

The 1950 State Convention was held from June 2-4 at the Berkshire Country Club in Wingdale, Dutchess County. F. Clifton White of Ithaca was elected President, and Wilma Seversten of New York City was selected as Vice President. Those in attendance at the convention heard from New York’s United States Senator, Irving Ives.

President White would in later years serve as a leader of United States Senator Barry Goldwater’s unsuccessful 1964 Presidential campaign. White was one of the Republican leaders of the 1960s and ’70s that encouraged the party to become more Conservative.

The 1951 Convention was held in Troy on May 19 of that year and saw the re-election of President White and Vice President Seversten. Those in attendance heard from State Republican Committee Chairman William L. Pfeiffer and Herbert Warburton, the Chairman of the Delaware State Young Republicans, and Rep. Patrick J. Hillings (R-California). The Association passed a resolution supporting General Douglas MacArthur and condemning President Harry S. Truman for removing him from command in Korea. The Association also called on Truman to allow for strategic bombing of military bases in Manchuria in Communist China and allow the forces of Nationalist China to be used in the Korean War.

Support in the state association for the candidacy of General Dwight D. Eisenhower for United States President was evident in early 1952. Following a quarterly meeting of the Association in Albany in January 1952, a group is known as “State Youth for Eisenhower” was established. Although it had no official connection to the Association, President White said he was “pleased” about its establishment. The group plans to hold a rally for Eisenhower on February 8 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Although it seems that the Association was unofficially behind Eisenhower, there appeared to be rifts with individuals in the group who were supporting the nomination of United States Senator Robert A. Taft (R-Ohio). A warning from the Vice Chairman of State Committee, Jane H. Todd, was issued at the 1952 convention, stating that rifts developing between the two sides could injure the party’s chances of electing a Republican President that year.

The 1952 Convention was held at the Totem Lodge Country Club in Averill Park, Rensselaer County. Carl Spad of White Plains was elected President, and Sally Boehelm of Lyons was elected Vice President.

In 1953 the Association called for an increase in Governor Dewey’s salary from $25,000 to $50,000; it also called on the state to scrap its system of electing State Supreme Court Justices and opt for an appointed system.

The 1953 Convention was held at the Laurels Country Club in Monticello, Sullivan County. The Association heard from State Committee Chairman Pfeiffer, who called on Governor Dewey to seek a fourth term. The Association also called on the Governor to seek a fourth term in a resolution adopted. The great debate over the controversial actions of Senator McCarthy took place at the convention between pro-McCarthy and anti-McCarthy forces. At the convention President Spad, and Vice President Boehelm were re-elected.

A heated State Convention took place in 1954, once again being held at the Laurels Country Club in Monticello. The contest was between Carl Gitlitz of Binghamton, the Chairman of the Board of Governors, and William Malone of Troy, the Association Treasurer. He had the support of outgoing President Spad and former President White, supposedly Governor Dewey himself. This was the first contest for the Presidency in six years, and both campaigns were in high gear, with loudspeakers, palm cards, buttons, and even people dressed up in baby elephant costumes. In the end, Carl Gitlitz defeated William Malone for the Presidency.

In 1955, the Association met in convention in Monticello once again. Those in attendance re-elected President Gitlitz, heard from Attorney General Jacob Javits, and supported the candidacy of fellow New Yorker Charles Mc Whorter for YRNF Chairman at the National Convention on June 15-19 in Detroit, Michigan. At a quarterly meeting held that year in Syracuse, the Association heard from former President and State Senate Majority Leader Walter J. Mahoney. The Association called upon the membership to add 50 new clubs and 10,000 new members in time for the 1956 elections. It commended State Committee Chairman L. Judson Morehouse for creating the “alternate Committeeman” position, which is giving more young people an opportunity to participate in local GOP committees.

On June 2, 1956, Young Republicans once again gathered at the Laurels Country Club in Monticello for what initially appeared to be another contested election. However, one of the candidates, Benjamin A. Gilman of Middletown, the Association’s National Committeeman and current longtime United States Representative from the 20th Congressional District, stepped aside in favor of association Treasurer Howard Ludington, Jr. of Rochester. At the convention 400, delegates heard once again from Attorney General Jacob Javits and elected Howard Ludington as President.

On May 25, 1957, YR’s met at Schroon Manor in Schroon Lake, in Essex County, for the Annual Convention. At the convention, Howard Ludington was returned as President, and the Association re-elected Shirley Steinberg of Albany as Vice President. Those in attendance heard from State Committee Chairman L. Judson Morehouse.

On May 24, 1958, the Association returned to Schroon Manor, in Schroon Lake for the 1958 Convention. At the convention, delegates elected Norbert Noel of White Plains as President, and Mrs. Charles Hogg, Buffalo, Vice President.

On May 23, 1959, the Association met in convention at the Sha-Wan-Ga Lodge in Highview, near Bloomingburg, in Sullivan County. Breaking with tradition, the Association did not back incumbent President Norbert Noel but instead chose Joseph F. X. Nowicki of Pearl River. Noel was reportedly ousted because he did not actively support the campaign of Governor Nelson Rockefeller, elected the previous November. Nowicki, who was legal counsel to Lt. Governor Malcolm Wilson, a former Young Republican, was trusted more by the Rockefeller palace guard. The Association also came down hard on Bronx County Republican Chairman Herman Winner, who was actively trying to crush the West Bronx Young Republican Club. At the convention, Young Republicans gathered heard from United States Senator from New York Kenneth B. Keating.

As the Association moved into the 1960’s President, Joseph F. X. Nowicki served as an Assemblyman from Rockland County. In 1961 Arthur M. Richardson of Rochester was elected President. In November 1961, the Association hosted a Leadership Conference in Yonkers, in which 300 YR’s attended. Attending the event were Lt. Governor Malcolm Wilson and Westchester County Executive Edwin G. Michaelian.

In 1962, the state association made history with the election of Jean McKee of New York City as the first female President in association history.

On May 26, 1963, the Association met in Lake Placid for the Annual Convention and re-elected Ms. McKee. A resolution congratulating Governor Rockefeller on his recent marriage was passed, and the 600 delegates present heard from State Committee Chairman Fred A. Young.

On May 23, 1964, the Association met at a convention in Niagara Falls and elected Brooklyn attorney Francis V. Elias, President. In 1964 the Association claimed a total individual membership of 25,000 YR’s across the state.

On May 15, 1965, the Association gathered in Livingston Manor in Sullivan County to re-elect President Elias and listen to Governor Rockefeller tout Rep. John Lindsay (R-New York), the party’s candidate for Mayor of the City of New York. In 1965, the Association had 40,000 individual members across the state.

The Association gathered at the Windmere Hotel in Livingston Manor for the 1966 convention on May 21. At the convention, the second woman president the Association has ever had was elected. Mary Ann Knauss of Livingston was selected, along with Joseph Goldstein of East Meadow for Vice President. The Association endorsed Governor Rockefeller for a third term. The Governor was present and spoke at the opening banquet. Five hundred delegates were present from the Association’s 250 clubs.

Young Republicans once again returned to the Windmere Hotel in Livingston Manor for the 1967 Convention, which saw the re-election of Mary Ann Knauss, who defeated Borden R. Webb of Levittown by a resounding vote of 203 to 82. Also elected was Julian Cohan of White Plains as Vice President.

1968 saw the election of Joseph Bruno of Glens Falls as President; he was followed by David Scanlon, Douglas Worth, Joseph Forstadt, who served as YRNF Region 2 Vice-Chair, and Guy “Clay” Maitland. As the 1970s progressed, the fortunes of the Republican Party in New York State, which had been so high for the past two decades, began to wane. The Watergate Scandal seriously hurt Republicans in the 1974 election, and Governor Malcolm Wilson, who had replaced Governor Rockefeller the year earlier, was defeated. Republicans lost control of the State Assembly. Young Republicans in New York City were practically defunct by 1975, hurt by Mayor John Lindsay’s defection to the Democrats. Many YR’s who wanted to keep their jobs in the Lindsay Administration were also forced to leave the Republican Party. The beginning of what would be 20 dark years of Democratic control of New York State had begun, and the most successful era in the state association’s history had come to an end.

Keeping Hope in the dark Times: 1976-1994

The late 1970s and 1980s were tough times for Republicans in New York State. A failed push by former Assembly Speaker Perry Duryea to win back the Governorship for Republicans in 1978 continued a slide that would reach rock bottom with the 1990 Governor campaign of Pierre Rinfret. Leading the Association during these challenging times were Erik Joh, Guy T. Parisi, Christian Braunlich, Vincent J. Noto, Ron Devine, Roy Tabita, John Ciampoli, and Kevin Bartnett, who served as Vice Chairmen-at-Large from 1991-1993 for the Young Republican National Federation under Enid Greene’s administration.

The Association held two-anniversary celebrations during this time, one at the 1979 convention held at Dunhams’ Bay Lodge in Lake George, to celebrate the 45th Anniversary of the Association. A Fiftieth Anniversary dinner was held under the administration of Vincent Noto and was held on May 22, 1982, at the Rye Town Hilton in Rye, New York. Former Association President F. Clifton White was the guest speaker.

The early 1990s brought some silver lining in the dark clouds. The first two years of President Bill Clinton’s scandalous and ineffective administration would help Republicans gain control of the US House of Representatives for the first time in forty years. Republicans were also successful in winning back control of the United States Senate. Most important of all, we ended 20 years of Democratic control of the Governor’s position.

And of course, the Young Republicans were there to help make the election of George E. Pataki as Governor happen. Leading the Association in the early 1990s were Daniel Issacs, Todd W. McIntyre, and Lorraine Campbell. They served as Secretary of the Young Republican National Federation from 1995-1997 in Larry Wayne Kidwell’s administration.

A Young Republican Renaissance: 1995-2001

The administration of President Salvatore Calise of Brooklyn began the resurgence of the Young Republican Movement in New York State. Mailers were often sent throughout the state, encouraging more individuals to become involved in the Association. Fundraisers often named after New York Republican alumni such as Teddy Roosevelt and Mayor La Guardia were held.

On September 20, 1997, Young Republicans gathered in Saratoga Springs for one of the most heated conventions in recent state association history. At a convention that lasted a good portion of the day, Steven M. Neuhaus, a law student from Orange County, and his “Leadership 97” ticket won the election over Vice President Tim Kolpien of Stueben County. That evening, those in attendance heard from former state association President Joe Bruno, the Majority Leader of the New York State Senate.

The Association of New York State Young Republican Clubs, Inc. entered the 21st Century ready to tackle the challenging issues that await us in the coming years. Under the leadership of Chairman Steven M. Neuhaus, the Association has become strong once again. New County chapters have been formed, a website was created, and changes to the by-laws were made to ensure effective governance. The new by-laws, which took effect at the 1997 Saratoga Springs convention, changed the title of President to Chairman. The state association continued to make strides in electing individuals to office in the Young Republican National Federation. In 1997 former State Vice President Robert Smith was elected Secretary of the YRNF for Monica Samuels’ administration. He served in that position until the new administration of Kevin McCarthy was elected in 1999. At that national convention, 1st Vice Chairman of the state association Karl Brabenec was elected YRNF Region 1 Vice Chairman and served in that capacity until 2001.

When elected, Brabenec replaced fellow New Yorker Kim Morella, serving for the previous two years. Matthew Sciarrino of Richmond County, the then Chief of Staff of the State Association, served as Parliamentarian and Assistant Counsel of the YRNF. In 2005 Matthew Sciarrino was appointed a Criminal Court Judge by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Southern Region Vice President Jim Booth was appointed to serve as Chairman of the YRNF Alumni Committee in February 2000. Steven Neuhaus was elected as Assistant Treasurer of the Young Republican National Federation at the 2001 YRNF Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana.

On April 11, 1999, The State Association met at a convention in Albany. Steven Neuhaus was re-elected to the chairman position. He became the first person to succeed himself following the abolition of term limits. Unfortunately, in the early morning hours of September 26, 1999, Peter G. Karamanos II, who had just been elected Treasurer of the state association in April, was killed in an automobile accident in the Town of Yates, Orleans County. His passing was deeply mourned by Young Republicans across the state. The position of Treasurer remained vacant until February of 2000 when Southern Region Vice President Jim Booth of Orange County was appointed Treasurer temporarily to organize the Association’s finances and file a required financial report with the New York State Board of Elections.

A special election was held at the April 1, 2000 meeting in Hudson to fill vacancies in the Treasurer and Recording Secretary offices. The Recording Secretary’s position became vacant when Bruce Tague resigned to become Executive Director. Robert Sikorski of Ulster County was appointed to fill this vacancy temporarily. At the Hudson Meeting, Robert Sikorski was elected to fill the Recording Secretary vacancy permanently, and Tara Radley of the County of Columbia was elected to fill the Treasurer vacancy.

A New Young Republican Millenium: 2001-2013

By Early 2001, State Chairman Steve Neuhaus announced he would not seek another term as Chairman of the Association. Three candidates emerged to replace him. 1st Vice Chairman Karl Brabenec of Orange County, Executive Director Bruce Tague of Schoharie County, and Vice Chairman of Special Projects, Sean O’Sullivan of Richmond County. By the April 21 meeting at West Point, the last before the convention, Executive Director Tague dropped out leaving Brabenec, and O’Sullivan to battle for the chairmanship.

At the West Point meeting, it was determined that the Biennial Convention would be held on July 14, 2001, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Downtown Albany.

On July 14, Young Republicans from across the state gathered for what likely topped the 1997 Saratoga Convention as one of the most heated in association history. After a morning of heated Credentials and Rules Committee meetings, the convention finally convened at 2 PM and lasted until 5 PM. Most of the convention was spent debating the legality of the Credentials Committee report.

Finally, after at least 2 hours of debate, the report was approved, and new officers were elected. When it was over, Sean O’Sullivan and his Excelsior 2001 ticket defeated Karl Brabenec and his Progress 2001 ticket. Sean O’Sullivan became the first New York Chair to become Chairman of the State Chairman’s Association of the YRNF.

In 2003, history repeated itself when the YRs returned to its roots for Convention 2003 in Buffalo, New York. Again in Buffalo, a New York Young Republican Club President, Jason Weingartner, was elected Chairman of the NYSYR. The following month the NYSYRs participated in the YRNF Convention in Boston. After a revolt of the delegates, who left the convention floor to protest their votes being bound to the former chair, Sean O’Sullivan, the unbound delegation helped elect the new slate of YRNF leaders. Tim Kolpien of Corning, NY, was elected Vice-Chairman of the YRNF. Anton Srdanovic was elected the Vice-Chairman of YRNF Region 1, and Jason Weingartner was elected Vice Chairman of the YRNF State Chairman’s Association.  Chairman Weingartner would serve two terms as Chairman, concluding with his Vice Chairman Chris Dziedzic of Broome County as NYSYR Chairman in 2007.  Chairman Dziedzic would, in turn, be succeeded by his Vice-Chair Lynn Krogh in 2009, who would serve a vital role in the gubernatorial campaign of Carl Paladino in 2010.  Also, this cycle would see the election of several Young Republicans to the State Senate and Assembly and the election of former Steuben County Young Republican Chairman Tom Reed to a vacant seat in the United States Congress.  During this time, Jason Weingartner would be elected to his first of two terms as Vice Chairman at Large of the YRNF.  

Chairwoman Krogh would be succeeded as Chairman by her Vice-Chair Giovanni Scaringi of Rockland County in 2011, who would be succeeded by his Vice-Chair Diana Sepulveda in 2013.  

The Current Association: 2013-Present

2013 would be an exciting year for the NYSYR as former Chairman Jason Weingartner was elected as the Chairman of the YRNF, the First National Chairman from New York since Charles Mc Whorter had been elected in 1955!  The 2013 Convention in Mobile, Alabama, saw the NYSYR take home two awards for the best charitable event and outstanding small club.  Shortly after his election, Chairman Weingartner would also be appointed Executive Director of the New York Republican State Committee, holding a position for five years.  That year would also see past Chairman Steve Neuhaus rise to the position of Orange County Executive.

In early 2014, upon his predecessor’s resignation, Vice-Chair Cory Custer of Saratoga County assumed the position of Chairman of the NYSYR.  2014 would be another banner year for Young Republican candidates. Several members were elected to the State Legislature, including past NYSYR and YRNF Board member Karl Brabenec’s election to the New York State Assembly.  Aso that year, two Young Republicans were elected to the United States Congress, State Senator Lee Zeldin of Suffolk and Elise Stefanik, the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.  

2015 saw Chairman Custer re-elected to a full term as Chairman at the State Convention in Rockland.  2015 would also see the NYSYR send one of the largest delegations of any state to the Young Republican National Convention in Chicago.  The NYSYR would take home several national awards at that convention, including outstanding small club, outstanding charitable event, and Woman of the Year Nicole Russo.  NYSYR Treasurer John Doyle would be elected YRNF Treasurer in the administration of new YRNF Chairman Dennis Cook in Chicago; several NYSYR members would serve in staff and committee chairmanship positions during the Cook administration.   Later that year, the NYSYR would deploy to Broome County to help protect the Republican majority in the State Senate through the successful election of Young Republican Fred Akshar to a vacant State Senate seat.  During this deployment, the YRs benefited from assisting in the successful election of past NYSYR Chairman Giovanni Scaringi to the Binghamton City Council.

2016 was another busy year where New York resident Donald Trump was elected President of the United States.  The NYSYR were ever-present in elections as successful candidates for the State Legislature, like past Putnam Young Republican Chair Kevin Byrne.  The NYSYR deployed to 5 different counties, helping to ensure the Republicans maintained their majority in the State Senate and held all 9 US House seats.  Most notably, Chairman Custer served as a campaign coordinator in 5 primary states for the Trump campaign and later as the Communications Director for both Trump-Pence New Hampshire and Trump-Pence Maine.  The year ended with the 20th Annual New York State Young Republican Holiday Party in Manhattan, where the NYSYR had their most profitable holiday party to date.  

2017 began with a bang as dozens of NYSYR members attended the inauguration of President Trump and Vice President Pence in Washington DC Chairman Cory Custer was appointed to a position in the Small Business Administration of the new Presidential administration. He did not seek a third term as Chairman.  He was succeeded by longtime board member and former Walden, NY Mayor Brian Maher.  Chairman Maher would continue the momentum started by his predecessors and bring a new generation of Young Republican leaders into his administration.  At the 2017 Young Republican National Convention in Annapolis, NYSYR member Nicole Weingartner would help oversee a successful convention as Oversight Committee Chairwoman.  Once again, the NYSYR had a large delegation at the convention. NYSYR member John Doyle continued on the YRNF Executive Committee, being elected as Vice-Chair for the Northeast Region.  The NYSYR would sweep the awards again, winning the best event for their 20th Annual Holiday Party, Man of the Year, by past Chairman Custer and State Federation of the Year.  Chairman Maher’s 2017 deployment efforts saw the NYSYR presence expand to deployments in 10 separate counties.  

2018 would be a year of significant change for the NYSYR as Chairman Maher began to make his mark.  In February, the Chairman would add a new staple to the NYSYR events with the inaugural Rising Star Event in Goshen, New York.  Twelve young rising stars from across the state were recognized for their achievements.  The event included the informal announcement of the gubernatorial campaign of Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, a prominent alumnus of the NYSYR.   Chairman Maher would answer the call to serve his country in the US Naval Reserve, requiring his temporary absence for several months for boot camp.  Shortly before his departure, longtime Suffolk YR Lindsay Blaszcyk rose to the challenge by taking on the position of Vice-Chairman.  During Chairman Maher’s absence, interim Chairwoman Blaszcyk would tend to the fires and keep the NYSYR moving forward through a busy 2018 midterm electoral cycle.  The NYSYR continued to be active on the campaign trail, and several members were elected to office, including sitting Renssalear Young Republican Chairman Jake Ashby and Suffolk Young Republican board member Doug Smith to the State Assembly, as well as the election of Brittany Kolbe as Montgomery County Clerk, unseating a 40-year incumbent!  Past Chairwoman Lynn Krogh would serve as Campaign Manager to Republican Gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro.

2019 would see the NYSYR continue to press on, starting with another bigger and better Rising Stars Event in Pearl River, New York.  Chairman Maher and Vice Chairwoman Blaszyck would be successfully re-elected at the NYSYR biennial convention in Suffolk County, bringing several new and energetic leaders to the Governing Board.  Also that year, former NYSYR Vice Chairman Nick Langworthy was elected as the next Chairman of the New York Republican State Committee at the State Convention in Albany.  Later that year, Chairman Maher would ensure the NYSYR continued having a presence on the YRNF Executive Committee by being elected as Chairman of the State Chairman’s Association as part of a ticket led by Rick Loughery at the 2019 Young Republican National Convention in Omaha.  Later that year, Young Republicans would continue their presence on deployments and as candidates holding and flipping municipal and county seats, including the election of Chairman Maher as Supervisor of the Town of Montgomery!  

Facing a busy presidential cycle in 2020, the NYSYR kicked things off with its third annual Rising Stars Event, this time held in the world-famous National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.  The event would see 15 Rising Stars honored and special guests, including recent gubernatorial Candidate Marc Molinaro and New York Republican State Committee Chairman Nick Langworthy. 

Past Chairmen:

  • George H. Sibley, New York 1932 – 1935
  • Walter J. Mahoney, Erie 1935 – 1937
  • Donald F. Boyle, Montgomery 1937
  • Alfred L. Simon, Saratoga 1937 – 1939
  • Ernest D. Leet, Chautauqua 1939 – 1940
  • Ralph Becker, Westchester 1940 – 1942
  • Jean Martin, Erie 1942 – 1944
  • Joel Mencher, Westchester 1944 – 1946
  • Charles Hamilton Jr., Westchester 1946 – 1948
  • Morrie Slifkin, Westchester 1948 – 1950
  • F. Clinton White, New York 1950 – 1952
  • Carl Spad, Westchester 1952 – 1954
  • Carl Gitlitz, Broome 1954 – 1956
  • Howard Ludington Jr., Monroe 1956 – 1958
  • Norbert Noel, Westchester 1958 – 1959
  • Joseph F. X. Nowicki, Rockland 1959 – 1961
  • Arthur M. Richardson, Monroe 1961 – 1962
  • Jean McKee, New York 1962 – 1964
  • Francis V. Elias, Kings 1964 – 1966
  • Mary Ann Knauss, Columbia 1966 – 1968
  • Joseph Bruno, Warren 1968 – 1969
  • David Scanlon, Suffolk 1969 – 1970
  • Douglas C. Worth, Westchester 1970 – 1972
  • Joseph L. Forstadt, New York 1972 – 1974
  • Guy E. C. Maitland, New York 1974 – 1976
  • Eric E. Joh, Broome 1976 – 1977
  • Guy T. Parisi, Westchester 1977 – 1979
  • Christian Braunlich, Nassau 1979 – 1981
  • Vincent J. Noto, Kings 1981 – 1983
  • Ron Devine, Suffolk 1983 – 1985
  • Roy Tabita, Queens 1985 – 1987
  • John Ciampoli, Nassau 1987 – 1989
  • Kevin Barnett, Westchester 1989 – 1991
  • Daniel Isaacs, Westchester 1991 – 1992
  • Todd W. McIntyre, Oneida 1992 – 1993
  • Lorraine Campbell, Nassau 1993 – 1995
  • Salvatore Calise. Kings 1995 – 1997
  • Steven M. Neuhaus, Orange 1997 – 2001
  • Sean O’Sullivan, Richmond 2001 – 2003
  • Jason Weingartner, New York 2003 – 2007
  • Christopher Dziedzic, Broome 2007 – 2009
  • Lynn Krogh, New York 2009 – 2011
  • Giovanni Scaringi, Rockland 2011 – 2013
  • Diana Sepulveda, Kings 2013 – 2014
  • Cory Custer, Saratoga 2014 – 2017
  • Brian Maher, Orange 2017 – 2021
  • Peter Giunta. Richmond 2021 – Present