Stewart-Cousins to be first female leader of state Senate

Posted: Updated:

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A woman will soon lead the New York state Senate for the first time ever.

Senate Democrats on Monday reappointed Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins of Yonkers as their leader, setting her up to lead the entire Senate when the 2019 session begins in January.

Democrats won the Senate majority in this month's elections, eliminating the Republican Party's last bastion of political power in state government.

Stewart-Cousins was first elected to the Senate in 2006 and has led the Democratic minority since 2012.

Democrats already hold a big majority in the state Assembly and occupy the governor's office. Now that they control the Senate they're predicting passage for several bills long blocked by Senate Republicans. They include protections for abortion rights, legalization of recreational marijuana and voting reform.

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