I was born in Buffalo, New York and am a product of the city’s immigrant, working-class traditions. I was raised in the Amherst, NY in a modest, middle-class household, the eldest of five children. My father was a guidance counselor at a public high school and my mother was a homemaker. I attended Catholic elementary school at a time when the nuns were trading in their habits and veils for street clothes and becoming advocates for social justice. I went to a public high school when Title IX was beginning to provide girls with expanded athletic opportunities. I studied the intersections of feminism and environmentalism as an undergraduate at SUNY/Buffalo. I was taught that all people are equal, that it is our responsibility to care for the most vulnerable among us, and that my life choices were not limited by my gender. I decided to go to law school so that I could put these values into practice.

As an attorney, I served nearly 30 years as a law clerk to judges of the New York State Appellate Division and the United States District Court for the Western District of New York. In 2016, I left federal service and entered private practice with my husband in the representation of parents of kids with disabilities in special education matters. Jeff and I have lived in the District for the last 21 years and raised our three daughters here.

I have decided to run for State Assembly because the residents of Amherst and Pendleton deserve a representative who will effectively advocate for our community and reflect the values that make our District a great place to live, work, raise a family, and do business. I believe that government should strive to keep our communities safe and prosperous, our residents healthy, and our opportunities equal. As a beneficiary of public education, I am committed to high quality, affordable education for all residents. As the daughter of a public employee, I recognize the important role of organized labor in providing workers with a pathway to the middle class. As a 10-year survivor of breast cancer, I am adamant in my belief that health care is a right, not a privilege, and that we must ensure that access to health care, including reproductive choice, is not undermined. I believe we must be responsible stewards of the environment and I will support environmental initiatives to expand renewable energy use and address climate change. As a member of the Assembly, I will strive to bring state dollars to projects in Amherst and Pendleton that will improve our quality of life and bring economic opportunities to all residents. I am confident that, with your help, I can be a voice for change in the 146th Assembly District. 


Show your support for this campaign by endorsing it and sharing why!

  • endorsed

    “I endorse Karen McMahon because she will have the well-being of all people living in Western New York at the forefront of all that she does. Karen is smart, empathetic, and an excellent listener, and she will work hard and collaboratively to develop and implement solutions to problems that we all face.”

  • endorsed

    “I met Karen about a year and a half ago. She was volunteering on the Supervisor and Town Board Campaigns. I witnessed her hard work. She is qualified and knows what it takes to win! She is a fresh face and she when in Albany she will fight for us all! Good Luck!”

  • endorsed

    “Karen is someone you can trust, respect and be proud of. We need more people like her in the government!”

  • endorsed

    “I support Karen McMahon and her commitment to making our communities a better place to live and thrive. She has lived and raised a family in this district for her entire life and in so doing is well versed in the challenges as well as opportunities. She has the passion and integrity that we all look for in our government officials. She will do a tremendous job.”

  • endorsed

    “She is exactly the sort of person who should be in government”

  • endorsed

    “She represents the values of inclusion, justice for everyone, science based smart growth and caring for the vulnerable that we so desperately need in our state.. She has the resume to prove she will is authentic and will work hard for #146! My most personal issue is protecting the environment and I feel confident that she is on the same page. Let's get out the vote and win!!!”

  • endorsed

    “I must be honest. I don't know Karen, but what I have read here and what I have heard has convinced me I want to know more...”

  • endorsed

    “She is trustworthy. She will put energy in to the causes that she believes in. She supports women.She supports students with disabilities and many other issues important to me and our state. She is smart about politics and otherwise. She is persistent. ( an amazing Mom and a 46 er). I completely without reservation support her.”

  • endorsed

    “I proudly and wholeheartedly endorse my sister, Karen McMahon. Karen is a remarkable person. She is intelligent, thoughtful, determined and caring. She will be a hard working advocate for the voters of the 146th district.”

  • endorsed

    “I am thrilled to see my kind, thoughtful,progressive friend running for this position. She will be a strong voice for women, children, families and working people as a member of New York’s Assembly.”

December 4, 2017

Campaign created!

Show your support for this campaign by endorsing it and sharing why!

  • endorsed

    “I endorse Karen McMahon because she will have the well-being of all people living in Western New York at the forefront of all that she does. Karen is smart, empathetic, and an excellent listener, and she will work hard and collaboratively to develop and implement solutions to problems that we all face.”

  • endorsed

  • endorsed

    “I met Karen about a year and a half ago. She was volunteering on the Supervisor and Town Board Campaigns. I witnessed her hard work. She is qualified and knows what it takes to win! She is a fresh face and she when in Albany she will fight for us all! Good Luck!”

  • endorsed

    “Karen is someone you can trust, respect and be proud of. We need more people like her in the government!”

  • endorsed

    “I support Karen McMahon and her commitment to making our communities a better place to live and thrive. She has lived and raised a family in this district for her entire life and in so doing is well versed in the challenges as well as opportunities. She has the passion and integrity that we all look for in our government officials. She will do a tremendous job.”

  • endorsed

    “She is exactly the sort of person who should be in government”

  • endorsed

    “She represents the values of inclusion, justice for everyone, science based smart growth and caring for the vulnerable that we so desperately need in our state.. She has the resume to prove she will is authentic and will work hard for #146! My most personal issue is protecting the environment and I feel confident that she is on the same page. Let's get out the vote and win!!!”

  • endorsed

    “I must be honest. I don't know Karen, but what I have read here and what I have heard has convinced me I want to know more...”

  • endorsed

    “She is trustworthy. She will put energy in to the causes that she believes in. She supports women.She supports students with disabilities and many other issues important to me and our state. She is smart about politics and otherwise. She is persistent. ( an amazing Mom and a 46 er). I completely without reservation support her.”

  • endorsed

    “I proudly and wholeheartedly endorse my sister, Karen McMahon. Karen is a remarkable person. She is intelligent, thoughtful, determined and caring. She will be a hard working advocate for the voters of the 146th district.”

  • endorsed

    “I am thrilled to see my kind, thoughtful,progressive friend running for this position. She will be a strong voice for women, children, families and working people as a member of New York’s Assembly.”