New York’s newest state senator, Cecilia Tkaczyk, had a busy first day on the job.
Fresh off her 18-vote, court-upheld victory over Republican George Amedore, she attended state Sen. Tony Avella‘s press conference on hydrofracking, explaining that gas drilling was a significant issue in her race and her stance against the practice helped bring people to the polls.
“The Senate has not done a good job [leading on environmental issues],” she said. “They’re not looking out for the public’s best interests. We need to stand up for the people in communities in New York.”
From there, she held several meetings before she was sworn in on the Senate floor to applause from her colleagues in the chamber and friends and family in the gallery. Her son squirmed as photographers swarmed and flashed their cameras.
“I have to go find my seat,” she said, excusing herself.
Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins marveled at the addition of another member to her conference.
“Eighteen votes is poetic justice,” she said. “I’ve been on the other side of those 18.”
After Tkaczyk’s swearing in, senators greeted her during session and state Sen. Gustavo Rivera showed her how to use her new desk.