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Aaron Gladd is a proud and life-long Upstate New Yorker who has devoted his life to public service - putting neighbors and nation first.
As a father, husband, combat veteran and experienced public servant, he understands what keeps us up at night. And today he’s standing up for our communities, families, veterans, farmers and small business owners alike. His passion for empowering New Yorkers, compounded by his authentic and common-sense approach to problem-solving, means he isn’t afraid to stand up for what’s right. It’s what he’s done his whole life.
Aaron has never forgotten where he came from. Today, he carries with him the lessons of climbing out of rural poverty against all odds - the importance of hard work, faith and perseverance, but also a quality public education, strong community, and government that cares. As State Senator, he will take those lessons to Albany and serve as a champion for middle classNew Yorkers across the state who are struggling to get ahead.
Aaron grew up in a troubled home in the Adirondacks, the son of an absent mother who dropped out of high school when she was 15. He relied on food stamps and free school lunch, and when he was a junior in high school he moved out of his home to try and make a better life for himself. He stayed with friends and slept on couches or even in his car. He worked multiple jobs, bagging groceries and washing dishes, to get through high school, and was always committed to earning a college degree, which he believed was his ticket out of the cycle of poverty that existed around him.
Lessons in Government
After high school, Aaron was admitted to the University of Albany, where he studied public law and graduated with a Bachelor's Degree with honors. He then earned a Master's of Public Administration at the Nelson Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy and was selected for the prestigious New York State Senate fellowship and assigned to work for the Deputy Majority Leader. Hired on to help manage legislative and budget operations, Aaron helped fight against rising property taxes, was on the floor of the Senate when New York passed the historic same-sex marriage law, and saw first-hand where government worked - and where it didn’t.
Called to Serve
In 2011, then a rising star in state government, Aaron put his career on pause and enlisted in the United States Army to answer the call to serve. A distinguished military graduate of the United States Army Infantry School and a graduate of the United States Army Engineer School, Aaron was assigned as a platoon leader in the 1st Cavalry Division where he led a 40-man unit on America’s First Team, including a combat tour to Eastern Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Making a Difference Today
Returning to civilian life, Aaron believed he could use the leadership experience he gained in the military to fight to make a difference for New Yorkers back home. He joined the administration of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and rose to become the Governor’s Deputy Director of Policy. In that position, he played an instrumental role in developing and implementing historic investments in Upstate New York to combat poverty and deliver real and lasting relief to struggling communities across the state, including the fight for universal broadband, tackling the opioid epidemic, women’s equality, and advancing the State’s $100 billion infrastructure program.
Aaron’s wife Samantha is a school teacher in Rensselaer County. They live in Brunswick where they are raising their two children, 3-year-old Aliyah and their baby Carson.
Our theme music!
Hudson River Dreamboat" performed by the Special Pillow, written by Dan Cuddy (c) Superb Rain Songs (BMI), administered by Rough Trade Publishing. The tune is covered under a Creative Commons license. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/
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