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M&T Bank Corp. has hired former Congresswoman Kathy Hochul as vice president of government relations, bringing in a veteran of both local and federal government to help lobby for the bank at all levels.

Hochul, who lost re-election to the House of Representatives last November in a bitter race against Chris Collins, will represent M&T in building relationships with local, state and federal officials, the bank said. She will work out of M&T’s headquarters in downtown Buffalo.

“Kathy brings a broad range of government knowledge and experience to M&T Bank,” said M&T Bank President Mark J. Czarnecki. “As a company employing more than 15,000 people, and as the nation’s 6th largest U.S. Small Business Administration lender, it’s important for M&T Bank to maintain continuing dialogue with our local, state and federal government leaders to help them understand our vital role in creating jobs and economic growth in communities we serve.”

Hochul, a Democrat who is married to U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr, represented New York’s 26th Congressional District in the House for the past two years, after winning a special election following the resignation of Chris Lee over a scandal involving photos.

Previously, she served as Erie County Clerk from 2007 to 2011. Prior to that, she worked on the staffs of former U.S. Rep. John J. LaFalce and former U.S. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University and a law degree from Catholic University in Washington.

email: jepstein@buffnews.com