The former Canandaigua supervisor takes the oath of office at ceremony inside the Ontario County Courthouse.
CANANDAIGUA — Newly elected state Sen. Pam Helming, R-Canandaigua, announced shortly after she was sworn into the position that she’s “ready to hit the ground running.”
The former Canandaigua supervisor, who took part in a similar ceremony in Albany on Jan. 4, was sworn in locally as the Republican representative of the 54th state Senate District during a ceremony Saturday at the Ontario County Courthouse.
At one point during her address inside the North Courtroom, Helming grew tearful while sharing a story about how she first became aware of public service and campaigning.
As a child living in Youngstown, Ohio, Helming said her father assisted a neighbor who ran for city council in an area dealing head-on with the closures of steel and iron mills. She would put literature supporting the candidate in doorways around her community.
The goal, she was told, was to assist someone who would serve as a strong leader for the community.
“I share this story for so many reasons, but primarily because it seems so fitting today, to be sworn in on my father’s birthday,” she said, taking a moment to gather her emotions.
Helming went over her priorities during her address, including improving the economic climate to make it more affordable to do business in the six-county district, as well as helping provide middle class families with tax relief to provide “some financial breathing room.”
The newly elected senator also mentioned working to minimize unfunded mandates passed down to schools, counties and local governments. Her goals also included strengthening schools and assisting police, firefighters, correction officers and first responders.
“And of course, you know me, protecting our valuable environmental assets, including our lakes and our prime agricultural lands,” Helming said.
“Now I know that solving all these issues isn’t going to be easy,” she added. “You have my commitment that with your continued help and support, and the help and support of the hardworking colleagues in the Senate and Assembly, I look forward to delivering the real progress that you deserve.”
Helming spent the majority of her time at the podium spreading thanks, including to her husband of 29 years, Gary, who stood next to her throughout the address. He also held the Bible as Judge William Kocher administered the oath of office, as Helming’s son Evan and his girlfriend Sierra Johnson stood nearby.
At the end of her oath, Helming added, “So help me God.”
Helming succeeds longtime legislator Michael Nozzolio, the Finger Lakes Republican who won 17 consecutive elections.
Helming, who ran on the Republican, Conservative and Independence lines in November, defeated Democrat Kenan Baldridge and Floyd Rayburn, who appeared on the Reform line.