“I can outwork anyone,” boasts Andrew Ferris, chief of staff for County Executive George Latimer. Listening to his grueling schedule, he just may be correct. Spurred by watching the 2008 Democratic primaries, Ferris decided to study political science at College of Saint Rose in Albany. In his junior year, Ferris applied for an internship in the state assembly and wound up working for Latimer.
“My parents said, ‘This is your foot in the door,’” reminisces the Ossining native. At the time, he didn’t know much about Latimer, who was representing the Sound Shore community, and thus had modest expectations for the internship. “I thought I’d be filing or getting coffee, but in my first meeting with George, he told me he wanted me to research bills. He brought me to every meeting,” Ferris says.
Ferris got hands-on experience in the internship and kept in touch with Latimer throughout his senior year. At a fundraiser for him in Albany, Latimer mentioned that he was going to run for state senate and offered Ferris a job. “I graduated on a Saturday and walked into his campaign office on Monday,” Ferris recalls.
In his current role, Ferris tracks issues from policy and operational perspectives, and ensures that everyone has a voice in a decision that impacts the county. It is a 24/7 job (Ferris says he averages five to six hours of sleep a night), but it is clearly a labor of love.