Schumer: Senate Promotion Won’t Dim Love for Upstate

ALBANY (AP) -

Sen. Charles Schumer capped off another year with visits to every county in New York state, promising Monday to return again in 2016 even if he is elevated to lead the U.S. Senate’s Democrats.

Schumer completed his annual visits to all 62 counties with a stop in Rensselaer County, where he called for greater funding for local firefighters. It’s the 17th consecutive year the senator has visited each of New York’s counties.

“I love it and learn as much today as I did the first year,” he said of his travels. “It’s so much better to meet people, to sit with them and learn from them, than it is to talk on the phone. It’s just a part of me. Part of me would die if I couldn’t do it.”

The Brooklyn native is poised to take over the leadership of the Senate’s Democrats following the retirement of Minority Leader Harry Reid after next year’s elections. Schumer said “just about every single one” of his fellow Senate Democrats have expressed support.