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After election losses, leadership battle, Sen. Young loses Senate GOP posts

ALBANY – Sen. Catharine Young, an Olean Republican, on Friday found out the price paid for launching, and losing, a caucus leadership fight in the Senate GOP.

Young, who had been head of the Senate Republican Campaign Committee, was bounced Friday morning from the post by Senate GOP Leader John Flanagan of Long Island.

It came after two things happened: The Republicans suffered a string of embarrassing campaign losses last month that pushed them out of control of the Senate and, next, Young challenged Flanagan in an internal contest to become the largely powerless new minority leader of the Senate when the Democrats take over the 63-member chamber in January.

Young’s political job had put her as head of the campaign committee assigned with protecting the GOP’s majority party status in the Senate. The GOP campaign committee will now be headed by Sen. Fred Akshar, a Binghamton Republican who won his own re-election race in November with 80 percent of the vote.

In the majority, Young also served as chair of the powerful Senate Finance Committee. Instead of letting her shift over to the ranking Republican spot on that panel, Flanagan also bumped her out of that post as well. That job will go to Sen. James Seward, a veteran lawmaker from Otsego County.

Flanagan also named Sen. Joseph Griffo, who represents a large district covering parts of the Mohawk Valley and the North Country, as deputy minority leader of the Senate.

In a statement Friday afternoon, Young said she was "extremely proud" of her time as head of Senate Finance and the Senate GOP campaign group. She touted her success in helping to keep the GOP in the majority until 2018. "While I respected his right to do so, Leader John Flanagan substantially changed the organizational structure and operations of the Senate Republican Campaign Committee in 2018,'' she said.

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