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Born March 26,1932 in Schenectady, N.Y., Mary Anne Krupsak was New York State Assemblywoman from 1968 to 1972, State Senator from 1972 to 1974 and became the first woman to serve as Lieutenant Governor of New York State in 1974. Krupsak earned a Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of Rochester in 1953, a Master of Science degree in public communications from Boston University in 1955, and a Doctor of Law degree from the University of Chicago in 1962. Krupsak served as a program associate for Governor Averell Harriman where she focused on consumer affairs and the establishment of the Office of Local Government. She became an administrative assistant to Congressman Samuel Stratton in 1958 before resigning to attend the University of Chicago. Krupsak served as executive assistant to Mobil Company’s Vice President Howard Samuels, before becoming an assistant counsel in the Office of the Temporary President of the New York State Senate and then assistant counsel to the Speaker of the Assembly until her election to the State Assembly in 1968.
As State Senator, Krupsak supported women’s rights and sponsored legislation such as a bill that removed corroboration requirements for rape trials. She also co-chaired the New York State delegation to the National Democratic Convention in 1972 and introduced a resolution proclaiming February 15, 1974 Susan B. Anthony Day.
During her term as Lieutenant Governor, Krupsak worked to make government more accessible to the constituency. She assumed an ombudsman role, traveling widely throughout New York to attend community conferences, learning about issues concerning New York’s residents, such as unemployment, and working within the government to offer solutions. She also created a community field office in Rochester headed by Nancy Dubner to increase the effectiveness of her full-time role as Lieutenant Governor. Krupsak’s budget and personnel increases received much criticism, especially when compared to earlier, less costly, Lieutenant Governors.
In 1976, Governor Hugh Carey appointed Krupsak to the New York State Commission on Management and Productivity in the Public Sector to increase government efficiency. Krupsak served as honorary chairperson of the “Committee of 51.3%” which involved female leaders and elected officials who assisted in Jimmy Carter’s Presidential campaign. Krupsak also participated in the 1977 International Women’s Year Tribune in Houston and served as a National Commissioner on the Observance of International Women’s Year.
On June 12, 1978, Krupsak issued a statement withdrawing from seeking a second term as Lieutenant Governor and two weeks later declared her intention to challenge her former running mate, Hugh Carey, for the Democratic nomination for Governor, only to be defeated in the primary.