Rally touts Stewart-Cousins for majority leader

Posted: Updated:
YONKERS -

A push to make Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins the first black female majority leader in the history of the state Senate is gaining steam.

Dozens of supporters rallied Monday at the Harriet Tubman Memorial Plaza in Harlem. The rally was organized by state Sen. Brian Benjamin (D-Harlem), one of those pushing for Stewart-Cousins to become majority leader.

The Westchester Democrat is currently the Senate minority leader and is the first woman to lead a legislative conference in Albany.

Democrats hold the majority in the state Senate, but they do not control the chamber.That's because eight of their 32 members call themselves Independents and one actually caucuses with Republicans. Current and former local and state politicians say it's time for the nine renegade Democrats to toe the party line and throw their support behind her.

Many supporters believe race is likely a factor preventing Stewart-Cousins from ascending to the majority leader position. In a controversial Facebook post last Thursday, billionaire hedge fund manager and charter school advocate Daniel Loeb accused the senator of "doing more damage to people of color than anyone who has ever donned a hood."

Stewart-Cousins is a supporter of public schools. Her spokesman and supporters have called Loeb's comment outrageous and offensive.

A representative for Gov. Andrew Cuomo was at Monday’s rally. Cuomo has said he supports Stewart-Cousins in her bid to become Senate majority leader.

sorry to interrupt
your first 5 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 5 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 5 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login, create an account or subscribe to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."