Gregory R. Ball was born in Pawling, New York, on September 16, 1977, and grew up on the family estate of Stephen and Jean Kennedy-Smith, sister of President John F. Kennedy, where his parents were both caretakers. A fifth generation New Yorker and the hardworking son of a postal worker, Greg graduated from public school and was the first in his family to graduate from college. He currently resides in Patterson, New York.
Elected in the fall of 2010, Greg represents the 40th Senate District comprised of all of Putnam County, northern Westchester County, and eastern Dutchess County. He is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security, and Military Affairs, and is one of only two State Senators appointed to Governor Cuomo's Savings and Government Efficiency (SAGE) Committee.
Greg is a leader in Albany, fighting for school tax reform, a property tax cap, the elimination of unfunded mandates, the reversal of New York's openly hostile business climate, and a reform of the legislature from top to bottom.
After graduating from Pawling High School, Greg first attended Valley Forge Military Academy and was both a 1996 Falcon Scholar and a member of the Army's Reserve Officer Training Corps. As a Cadet at Valley Forge, Greg was granted a Congressional Nomination from Representative Sue Kelly, and was accepted to and attended the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA). There, he majored in Political Science with an emphasis on American Politics and Latin American Affairs. While attending USAFA, Greg worked in the White House Drug Policy Office, where he served as an intern during the Presidency of William Jefferson Clinton.
Greg graduated in 2001, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Air Force Academy. As a graduate student at Georgetown University, Greg was a Fellow in the Center for the Study of the Presidency from 2002 to 2003. Greg served as an Air Force Protocol Officer in the 11th Wing, working protocol for many four-star generals, including the Secretary of the Air Force and the Air Force Chief of Staff. Over the course of his military career, Greg has received numerous awards including an Achievement Medal for outstanding service by General John P. Jumper, the Air Force Chief of Staff. He is currently completing his Thesis for his Master's of Arts in Liberal Studies with a concentration in International Affairs from Georgetown University.
After receiving an Honorable Discharge from Active Duty in January of 2005, Greg returned home to New York with his focus on helping better the community. He soon announced his intention to seek public office.
In the September 2006 Primary, Greg defeated the Republican Party nominee and six-term incumbent Willis Stephens, Jr. with more than 70% of the vote, and won election later that Fall. From 2007 through 2010, Greg represented the 99th Assembly District as a Member of the New York State Assembly.
Locally, Greg led an effort in Putnam County to pass Child Safety Zones into law, and his Term Limit Pledge influenced the Westchester and Putnam County Legislatures to pass term-limit legislation. As the first legislator to speak against the MTA Payroll Tax, Greg brought Putnam and Westchester Counties together with Orange, Nassau, and Suffolk Counties in a class-action lawsuit and also organized a 1,500-person tax revolt rally against the MTA Payroll Tax on the steps of the Historic Putnam County Courthouse in Carmel, NY. Through Greg's leadership and organization, he succeeded in pushing State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli to agree to forensically audit the MTA.
As an Assemblyman in the super-minority, Greg passed major legislation into law, closing a loophole and strengthening penalties for human trafficking, outlawing cyberpiracy, establishing stronger penalties for violations of the open meetings law, and reforming the budget process. As the Ranking Member of the Assembly Committee on Veterans' Affairs, Greg successfully fought for a historic $2 million fund to provide free undergraduate and graduate tuition to combat veterans at SUNY/CUNY schools.
Greg has twice in four years been named Legislator of the Year by the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, and has also been recognized by the Devereux School as Person of the Year for his leadership in introducing a landmark Autism Spectrum insurance reform bill, which ultimately led to similarly historic legislation passing both houses of the Legislature in 2010. In addition to these honors, Greg has received numerous awards and recognitions from local and national groups for his achievements and dedications, including the John C. Hand Person of the Year Award, the National Shooting Sports Foundation Legislator of the Year Award, and the New York State Farm Bureau Circle of Friends Award. Greg has been appointed to the Minority Task Force on Autism, the Minority Sex Offender Watch Task Force, and the American-Swiss Foundation Young Leaders Conference.
In 2010, without a party endorsement, Greg announced his candidacy for State Senate. As he had done twice in the past, Greg easily defeated his opponent in a Republican Primary. Additionally, Ball ran an aggressive and historic Opportunity To Ballot campaign that won the Conservative nomination as a write-in candidate with 66% of the vote, which has been said to be the greatest write-in victory ever in New York State history. In the 2010 General Election, Ball used the 8,388 votes he received on the Conservative line to defeat Michael Kaplowitz and become the next State Senator representing the 40th District.
Greg is involved in many community organizations including his service as a board member for the New York chapter of the United States Air Force Academy Association of Graduates, a member of the Putnam Lake Chapter of AMVETS, an honorary member of the United Taxpayers of Yorktown, and a member of the Yorktown, Mahopac and Brewster chambers of commerce. Greg enjoys fly fishing, jogging, hiking, horseback riding and trap shooting.