ALBANY — State Sen. George Borrello has appointed Alison M. Hunt, a staff member and current district director for U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, as the senator’s chief of staff.
“Alison brings a wealth of governmental experience to the Chief of Staff role after serving for the past 10 years on the district staff of Congressman Tom Reed, the last six as his district director,” Borrello, a Republican from Chautauqua County, said. “Her combination of management experience, policy expertise and engagement in the issues of our communities make her a natural fit for this new role.”
Reed announced March 21 he will retire from public service at the end of his term following allegations of sexual misconduct with a young woman lobbyist in Minneapolis in 2017. Reed, whose term ends after 2022, cited alcohol problems at the time of the alleged incident.
In early April, it was reported that Reed, R-Corning, is under investigation by the House Ethics Committee over the incident as well.
Borrello said Hunt has “deep knowledge” of agricultural issues, developed not only from her professional tenure but also from her time growing up on a farm in Yates County, where she still assists her family’s business.
“Her background will be invaluable to my work on these issues as the ranking member of the Senate’s Agriculture Committee,” he said.
Hunt held several positions on Reed’s staff, including field representative, director of constituent services and deputy district director. She was named district director in 2015, where her responsibilities have included overseeing all state operations and district staff, facilitating policy events and roundtables, spearheading local projects and interfacing with state and local leaders on federal policy and appropriations issues.
Since 2016, Hunt has served as a member of the Corning City Council, where she serves as chair of a capital project financing committee.
“I am grateful for Sen. Borrello’s trust in my ability to lead his dedicated staff and help guide his legislative vision,” Hunt, a graduate of Penn State University, said. “In just a year and a half, he has established himself as one of the hardest-working members of the Senate and a fierce champion for his district.”
Hunt is succeeding Michael Ellison as chief of staff. Ellison has served in the role since Borrello won a special election for the seat in 2019.
“Mike Ellison’s dedication and leadership of our team has been stellar and he will be missed,” Borrello said. “His extensive legislative expertise and political savvy were invaluable as I transitioned from a role in county government to the State Senate and his contributions have left an indelible mark.”