June O’Neill to serve as Chair of the Executive Committee

Leadership team looks to build and expand on record victories in 2010

BUFFALO, NY – Today the New York State Democratic Committee unanimously nominated and elected Jay Jacobs to serve as its Chairman. Jacobs, the Chairman of the Nassau County Democratic Committee, succeeds June O’Neill who will now serve as the Executive Committee Chair of the Democratic Committee.

“This is a great time to be a Democrat, not only in New York State, but across the Nation. I am excited and honored to serve as the Party’s Chairman, and look forward to building on the great foundation laid by June O’Neill and increasing our margins across the state,” said Jay Jacobs.

“I’m proud to pass the torch to my good friend Jay Jacobs. We have a lot of work ahead of us and I’m excited to tackle 2010 as a team. The values of the Democratic Party were forged right here in New York, and I am confident they will continue to flourish under Jay’s expert leadership,” added June O’Neill.

As hundreds of Democrats descended on Buffalo to rally the party and exchange ideas, Jacobs illustrated a bold vision to tackle the next election cycle and not only maintain Democratic dominance in all state-wide offices, but grow majorities from the county to the state level-most notably in the Senate.

Jacobs pledged to:

  • Build up the resources and organization of the State Party
  • Make the State Party the campaign resource for Democratic candidates in NYS
  • Provide an active voice in the issues & policies of the day
  • Devise a working structure with the 62 County Chairs as its foundation
  • Create, once and for all, an Institutional Party Office that endures.

“June O’Neill has served our party and my administration with great passion, dedication and energy. She enjoys the admiration and support of people from one end of this great state to the other, people who have seen her fight for Democratic principles during her more than 30 years of service. Her efforts have allowed us to make great strides as a party, including helping our party raise $12.9 million. Although we will miss one of our ‘winningest’ state party chairs in New York history, June’s keen eye for detail as well as the big picture will continue to serve Democrats well as Chair of the Executive Committee.

At the same time, I am excited to welcome Jay Jacobs, Nassau County Democratic Chair as our next State Chair. Jay has proven himself as a strong, dynamic leader who has grown the Democratic Party and won elections at every level. Jay is exactly the right person for this job and his energy, creativity and leadership will help move our party forward and advance Democratic principles and priorities,” said Governor David Paterson.

“Jay Jacobs is the right person for the job. He is smart, hard working and universally respected and liked. He will be a wonderful State Chair. I also commend June O’Neill for her leadership of and commitment to the party. We are very fortunate that she will remain engaged as the Chair of the Executive Committee,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer.

“Chairwoman June O’Neill has provided outstanding leadership to our party and our state, and I thank her for her service.  I am confident that the party will only continue to grow and prosper under the leadership of our newly-elected State Chair Jay Jacobs.  I wish him all the best in his new role. On behalf of Democrats across New York, I thank you both and I look forward to continue working with you,” added U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

“I want to congratulate Jay Jacobs on his election today to the chairmanship of the New York State Democratic Committee. I look forward to working with Jay as he leads the Party and as we continue building and strengthening the party to maintain New York’s role as a national leader for smart, progressive, and responsible policies,” added New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

“Jay Jacobs is an outstanding leader with a record of results. From turning the Nassau County Committee into a powerhouse, to making record gains at the local and state levels. June O’Neill has done an incredible job and both she and Jay will bring a formidable vision and experience to the State Party,” said Tom DiNapoli, New York State Comptroller.

NY Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said: “On behalf of all Democrats in New York State, I want to extend congratulations to Jay Jacobs and heartfelt thanks to June O’Neill. June’s dedicated leadership and hard work have helped New York State Democrats overcome many challenges and accomplish so much in recent years. Now, as we take on a new set of challenges, I know that Jay will be able to continue and expand our record of success.”

“We need a strong Democratic organization to expand our majority in the State Senate and help Democrats at every level in 2010,” said State Senate Majority Conference Leader John Sampson. ”Under the leadership of Jay Jacobs and June O’Neill, our State Party will help deliver the change New Yorkers deserve and expect.”

“Jay Jacobs has the vision and expertise to get the job done. Together with June O’Neill, I am confident they will lead our party to victory in 2010,” Senate President Pro Tempore Malcolm A. Smith.

Jay Jacobs was first elected as the Chairman of the Nassau County Democratic Committee in 2001. Since taking office, the voters of Nassau County have re-elected a Democratic Majority in the Legislature in 2001, 2003, 2005, and 2007, and elected a Democratic County Executive, County Comptroller, Counter Assessor, and District Attorney.

Under the Chairman’s leadership, the Nassau County Democratic Committee has raised more money and elected more Democrats than ever before. Chairman Jacobs is also member of the Democratic National Committee.

In addition, Jay Jacobs is the owner/operator of three sleep-away camps, Timber Lake Camp, Timber Lake West and Tyler Hill Camp and two day camps, North Shore Day Camp & School and the newest member of the TLC Family of Camps, Hampton Country Day Camp. Some of his past professional affiliations include serving on the New York State Camp Health and Safety Council, President of ACA’s NY section, and President of the New York State Camp Directors Association. He is the founder of SCOPE (Summer Camp Opportunities Provide an Edge), a program that sends inner city children to not for profit camps. In 2001, Jay founded and currently serves as Chairman of Project Heal the Children, an ACA program that provides free summer camp experiences for the children of victims of the 9/11 tragedy.

Jay grew up in Forest Hills and graduated with a BA degree from SUNY Oneonta and a JD from Northwestern University Law School. Jay currently resides in Laurel Hollow with his wife Mindy. They have two daughters, Jessica and Jackie.

June F. O’Neill has spent more than thirty years working in Democratic politics and New York state government. As the Chairwoman of the St. Lawrence County Democrats she flipped the majority on the County Legislature, and as the Chairwoman of the State Party presided over the historic expansion of the party at all levels of government.

June is an active member of the Democratic Rural Conference. She has also served as a member and past chair of the SUNY Potsdam College Council and on numerous boards and commissions including: the Albany Law School Government Law Center Advisory Board; the Cornell Local Government Program Executive Committee; the NYS Government Finance Officers Northeast Regional Council. June attended the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam. She and her husband, Ronald, reside in the town of Canton near their daughter and son-in-law, Robert and Victoria Hayes and their granddaughter, Delaney Rose.

Contact: Edgar Santana, 212-725-8825 / press@nydems.org.