Chris Jacobs is a conservative reformer, small businessman and New York State Senator representing Erie County in Western New York. First elected to the Senate in 2016 and re-elected in November of 2018, Chris has been a strong voice for Western New York, fighting against policies driven by New York City political interests that are harmful to the region. He has also been a strong advocate for government reform. The first piece of legislation Chris introduced in the Senate was term limits for all state elected officials.
Prior to his election to the Senate, Jacobs was the first Republican Clerk elected in Erie County in 40 years. As County Clerk, Jacobs was credited with reforming the operations of the Office’s Real Estate Division which had fallen into dysfunction. Jacobs drove dramatic efficiencies and revenues throughout the Clerk’s Office without increasing the number of employees. He was also credited with building the Clerk’s “Thank A Vet” Program, now the largest veterans discount program of its kind in the entire state. As Clerk he also ran the County’s Pistol Permit Division, where he received accommodation for his strong defense of 2nd Amendment rights, especially during the passage of the New York SAFE Act.
A small business owner, Jacobs is the founder and owner of Avalon Development. Founded in 2002, Avalon has redeveloped many vacant and historic buildings in Western New York . Chris has received numerous awards for bringing older buildings and the communities around them back to life. His projects have focused on providing unique and affordable space for small businesses to thrive. Jacobs’ business experience is one reason he believes that small business creation and growth is critical to the region’s comeback.
Jacobs first job after college was working in Washington DC for former Buffalo Congressman and Buffalo Bills Quarterback Jack Kemp. In 1994, Jacobs returned home to Western New York to start the BISON Scholarship Fund, a charity that raised donations to help send children to private and religious schools. BISON will be celebrating its 25th Anniversary this fall, over that time providing scholarships for more than 20,000 children throughout Western New York. Jacobs believes that all children in American, no matter their income or their address, deserve an education of the highest quality.
Jacobs grew up in Western New York. He is married to Martina Jacobs and they have a daughter, Anna. He is a graduate of Boston College and has an MBA from American University in Washington DC and a law degree from SUNY Buffalo.