Stewart-Cousins Makes History as First Female to Lead Senate Majority

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by Rick Pezzullo – 

New York State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins made history in late November when she was chosen by her Democratic colleagues to be the first female to lead a Senate Majority, starting in January.

Stewart-Cousins, whose 35th Senate district includes the towns of Greenburgh and Mount Pleasant, ran unopposed for a seventh two-year term in November. She has led the Democratic minority in the Senate since 2012.

“This is an incredibly proud moment for me,” Stewart-Cousins said after she was selected. “You know, we’re looking forward again to not only serving the people of New York but also doing it with the type of attention, integrity and intelligence that they expect from us and that they deserve.”

Westchester County Executive George Latimer was one of many area elected officials who congratulated Stewart-Cousins on her accomplishment.

“Today is also a day when Westchester residents should feel immensely proud that one of our own will be taking on this important role,” Latimer said. “Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins has overcome all the challenges she has faced in her career. Now, she has a chance to put those years of service to the test and lead a chamber in need of forward thinking – and to put another massive crack of her own in that glass ceiling. Westchester – and New York State – will be better served by her leadership.”

Stewart-Cousins’ history-making moment was made possible by the Democrats taking over the Senate. One of the key victories for the Democrats came in the 40th Senate District, which includes the Village of Sleepy Hollow and the Town of Mount Pleasant, where Peter Harckham unseated two-term Republican incumbent Terrence Murphy.

Harckham, a former county legislator who currently works in the administration of Governor Andrew Cuomo, lost to Murphy in Putnam and Dutchess counties, but won handily in Westchester, 49,745 to 37,796. Voters in Mount Pleasant backed Harckham, 8,972 to Murphy’s 7,542.

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