Thomas F. O'Mara was first elected to the New York State Senate on November 2, 2010.
The 58th Senate District covers all of Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben and Yates counties, and a portion of Tompkins County (the city and town of Ithaca, and the towns of Enfield, Newfield and Ulysses).
He presently serves as the ranking Republican member of the Senate Banks, Investigations and Government Operations, and Judiciary committees. For the legislative sessions 2015 through 2018, Senator O'Mara served as Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Environmental Conservation, one of the Legislature's key committees. In addition to his ranking member assignments, he also serves as a member on the following committees: Codes; Environmental Conservation; Ethics and Internal Guidance; and Transportation. He has also served as one of five state senators on the joint, bipartisan, 10-member Legislative Commission on the Development of Rural Resources, and as a member of the following Senate Task Forces: Heroin and Opioid Addiction; Lyme and Tick-borne Diseases; and Workforce Development.
Prior to his Senate election, he represented the 137th Assembly District comprising Chemung and Schuyler counties as well as part of Tioga County for three consecutive, two-year terms. He was named Assistant Minority Leader Pro Tempore for the 2010 legislative session, the third-highest ranking position in the Assembly Republican legislative conference. In addition to his leadership role, he also served as a member of the Assembly Committees on Ways and Means, Energy, Banks, Ethics and Guidance, Judiciary and Tourism. As the ranking member on the Assembly Energy Committee, he worked to provide lower cost, more competitively priced energy for residents and businesses in New York State, while encouraging conservation efforts and fostering the use of renewable and clean energy.
Senator O'Mara has stood as a commonsense, clear and strong voice in Albany on behalf of his constituents in the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions. He has been outspoken in opposition to out-of-control spending in Albany and a strong advocate for cutting waste in government, particularly in the state's $70-billion-plus system of Medicaid where he has championed better ways to manage care, improve disease management and utilize cutting-edge data mining technology to potentially save billions of taxpayer dollars that are being lost to waste, fraud and abuse.
Throughout his public service, Senator O’Mara has been guided by a long-held belief: Government does not create jobs, business does. That's why he’s focused on developing public policies and strategies that allow state government to improve the economic climate for doing business in New York by opposing tax increases, and reducing state spending, mandates, overregulation and oppressive property taxes.
In the Senate he has been at the forefront of efforts to revitalize Upstate New York's manufacturing sector.
A former Chemung County District Attorney, Senator O’Mara has also served as Chemung County Attorney and as an Assistant District Attorney in both Manhattan and Chemung County. He holds a Juris Doctorate from the Syracuse University College of Law and a B.A. from the Catholic University of America, and is presently a member of the Barclay Damon LLP law firm. He was formerly a partner in the Davidson & O’Mara, PC law firm in Elmira.
Active in his community, Senator O'Mara has served as counsel to the Chemung County Industrial Development Agency and St. Joseph's Hospital (Elmira). His focus is on improving the business climate in New York State and fostering economic growth throughout the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions. He serves as a member of the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council (REDC), and has been a member of the Southern Tier Economic Growth (STEG) Board of Directors and the Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development (SCOPED). He is a former Director and Secretary of St. Joseph's Hospital, a Trustee of the Horseheads Free Library, and a Board Member of the Wings of Eagles (formerly National Warplane Museum). He was the 2001/2002 Chairman of the American Red Cross Chemung/Schuyler Chapter and a Director there for seven years. He was a member of the New York State Judicial Screening Committee for Chemung County and a member of Chemung County Executive Tom Santulli’s Southern Tier Organization to Reform Medicaid (STORM).
An avid outdoorsman who enjoys fishing, camping, skiing, and snowmobiling, Senator O’Mara is a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association (NRA), and a member of the Sons of the American Legion and the Shooters Committee on Public Education (SCOPE), as well as the Farm Bureau of New York/Chemung County, Ancient Order of Hibernians- Elmira, and Montour Falls Moose.
Senator O'Mara is a native of Chemung County, born and raised in Horseheads. He and his wife Marilyn currently reside in Big Flats. They have three children.