BINGHAMTON – Former State Senator Tom Libous, once a powerhouse in the state capital, lost his seven-year battle with prostate cancer Tuesday evening.
Libous’ passing was announced by former staff member Emmanuel Priest late Tuesday. Funeral arrangements for the 63-year-old are pending.
Libous was a leading member of the New York State Republican party, having served 14 terms as a representative of the state’s 52nd Senate District. His political influence spanned the course of three decades, starting in 1984 when he was elected to represent Binghamton’s south side on the Binghamton City Council. He was re-elected to that position in 1987. Regarded for his ability to connect with people throughout the Southern Tier, Libous was elected to the New York Senate in 1988 – a post he held until 2015.
Libous worked his way up the ranks of leadership in the New York legislature, serving several key positions including Chair of the Senate Republican Campaign Committee, Deputy Minority Leader, and, most recently, Deputy Majority Leader.
In the Senate, Libous was true to his conservative constituency, voting with his fellow Republicans on numerous contested issues. He opposed the Marriage Equality Act recognizing same-sex marriage in 2011, voted against required background checks for gun purchases as part of the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Act of 2013, promoted legalization of medicinal marijuana, and continually called on legislative approval for high-volume hydraulic fracturing.