Former Gates Police Chief formally announces State Senate run

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Former Gates Police Chief James VanBrederode officially announced Wednesday that he is running for New York State Senate in the 56th District as a Republican. That district is currently represented by Democratic State Sen. Jeremy Cooney.

The 56th District is currently made up of towns in Monroe County, Gates, Greece, parts of Rochester and some others. The current map of the district shows a high percentage of Democratic voters.

“This crime has got to stop, and I think my platform, is going to resonate with the people of Monroe County,” VanBrederode said.

“We anticipated that a republican would come forward, the most important thing to focus on is we’re going to do the work on behalf of the citizens of Rochester,” Cooney said.

VanBrederode was be joined by former senator Joe Robach who represented the 56th District from 2003 to 2020. VanBrederode said his campaign will be around public safety, education, and the economy. He said he’s prepared to take on the challenge of winning over a Democratic district.

"I have heard from so many residents, they motivated me to take on this challenge, because you’re right it will be an uphill battle, but I believe, my message resonates no matter what town you’re in or what political stance, I think people are ready for a change,” VanBrederode added.

We asked Cooney what his focus will be around if re-elected.

"Through the state budget process we want to make sure that we’re investing in child care, health care access, increasing public safety, creating good-paying jobs and continue to invest in our public schools,” Cooney said.

The makeup of voters could change within this district as lawmakers consider new redistricting legislation.