John McHugh was elected four times to the New York Senate, serving 1984-92. He was first elected to the U.S. House in 1992 with 61 percent of the vote, defeating Democrat Margaret Ravenscroft. He was re-elected in 1994 with 78 percent, defeating Democrat Danny Francis. In 1996, he was re-elected with 71 percent of the vote against Democrat Donald Ravenscroft. McHugh was re-elected in 1998, defeating Democrat Neil Tallon with 79 percent of the vote and defeated Tallon again in 2000 with 74 percent of the vote.
In 2002 he was re-elected without major opposition.