EMILY’s List Announces state Senate Endorsements

Legislative Gazette
July 21, 2014 | By Thomas Alston

In hopes of securing a Democratic majority in the state Senate, EMILY’s List announced its endorsement of four Democratic state senators for the November election.
The organization is one of the most powerful champions of women’s issues at the national and state level, and has been endorsing pro-choice Democratic women since its creation in 1985.
In a conference call, EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock and Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, one of the endorsees, spoke of the importance of female leadership in passing the Democrats’ progressive agenda that has been repeatedly stymied by Republican opposition.
“We have seen in New York and around the country that voters see the importance of women’s leadership,” Schriock said. “Our governing tables need to look like our nation, [with] equal numbers of men and women,” said Schriock.
Schriock was optimistic at the chances of the Democrats taking control of the Senate, a move which would likely make Minority Leader Stewart-Cousins the first female majority leader in either house of the state Legislature.
“The EMILY’s List community – now more than three million members strong – is thrilled to be part of supporting Senator Stewart-Cousins’ historic leadership, electing new women to the state Senate and igniting change in New York,” Shriock said.
Stewart-Cousins, who was first elected in 2006, accepted the endorsement, noting the significant role EMILY’s List has played in her political career.
“I am proud to be supported and endorsed by EMILY’s List,” the Senate minority leader said. “When I was an early candidate back in 2004, it was EMILY’s List that taught me what I needed to know to win a campaign.”
Speaking on behalf of her fellow endorsees, Stewart-Cousins said, “The reality is that [EMILY’s List is] investing early in our great candidates, which encourages candidates and like-minded people.”
Stewart-Cousins also talked about the 10-point women’s rights bill that passed the Assembly, but failed to pass in the Senate due to Republican opposition. She called the failure to sign the bill into law “absolutely unacceptable,” especially given “the need for New York to update our antiquated reproductive laws.”
The other three Democratic women endorsed are Sen. Toby Stavisky, D-Flushing; Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk D-Duanesburg; and Adrienne Esposito who is running for the seat held by Sen. Lee Zeldin, R-Shirley, who is vacating it to run for Congress.
Stavisky, first elected in 1999, is the first woman to chair the Committee on Higher Education.
Tkaczyk was elected in 2012 and faces former Assemblyman Republican George Amedore in the November election.
Esposito is running for the 3rd Senate District in Suffolk County. If elected, she would be the first woman to represent Suffolk County in the state Senate.
“With Adrienne Esposito in office, Cecilia Tkaczyk and Toby Stavisky returning, and Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins as Majority Leader, New York women and families will finally have a fair shot,” Shriock said. The general election is November 4.