Meet all the new state lawmakers

Meet the new New York State lawmakers.
Meet the new New York State lawmakers.
Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
The New York State Senate

Meet all the new state lawmakers

The 44 freshmen in Albany.
January 10, 2021

With the 2021 legislative session underway, City & State sent a questionnaire to all 44 new members of the state Senate and Assembly. Here's what the new barrier-breaking class had to say about their top priorities and how they'll distinguish themselves from their predecessors. 

State Senate

Anthony Palumbo, State Senate District 1 

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Anthony Palumbo
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Anthony Palumbo
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Anthony Palumbo
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Anthony Palumbo
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Anthony Palumbo
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New York State Senate

Party: Republican

Predecessor: Kenneth LaValle (R)

Previous job: State Assembly for the past seven years, assistant district attorney for Suffolk County, private practice

Twitter handle: @AnthonyHPalumbo

Current residence: New Suffolk, Suffolk County

Top priority in office: Help Long Island recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic shutdown that has impacted so many families, small businesses and restaurants.

How you will govern differently than your predecessor: I will work hard to continue his legacy of working across party lines to get the job done for Suffolk County residents, protect Long Island’s natural resources and be a strong advocate for our schools and local taxpayers.

Political hero: Abraham Lincoln

Favorite show or movie you streamed recently: “Yellowstone”

Mario Mattera, State Senate District 2 

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Mario Mattera
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Mario Mattera
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Mario Mattera
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Mario Mattera
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Mario Mattera
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Office of State Senator Mario Mattera

Party: Republican

Predecessor: John Flanagan (R)

Previous job: Business agent at Plumbers Local 200

Current residence: St. James, Suffolk County

Place of birth: Island Park, Nassau County

Top priority in office: Helping our state recover from the COVID-19 crisis by rebuilding our economy by stimulating job growth.

How you will govern differently than your predecessor: There will not be a seismic shift in approach. However, I do hold some policy positions that differ from his and will adhere to my beliefs while also listening to the input of the constituents that I am fortunate to represent.

Political hero: Ronald Reagan

Favorite show or movie you streamed recently: “Ford v Ferrari”

Alexis Weik, State Senate District 3 

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Alexis Weik
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Alexis Weik
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Alexis Weik

Party: Republican

Predecessor: Monica Martinez (D)

Previous jobs: Receiver of taxes for the town of Islip

Current residence: Sayville, Suffolk County

Place of birth: Bay Shore, Suffolk County

Top priority in office: Protecting taxpayers, restarting our economy, restoring public safety, fighting for our schools

How you will govern differently than your predecessor: I will be a strong voice and advocate for the needs of our communities first.

Political hero: President Teddy Roosevelt

Favorite show or movie you streamed recently: “Downton Abbey” – a story that highlights that we are all human, struggling with similar issues and concerns. We must change with the times and have compassion for one another.

Jabari Brisport, State Senate District 25 

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Jabari Brisport
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Jabari Brisport
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Jabari Brisport
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Jabari Brisport
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Jabari Brisport
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Tess Mayer

Party: Democratic

Predecessor: Velmanette Montgomery (D)

Previous jobs: Public school math teacher, actor, server/bartender, tutor

Twitter handle: @JabariBrisport

Current residence: Brooklyn

Place of birth: Interfaith Medical Center in Brooklyn

Top priority in office: Taxing the rich, so we can fund the services and infrastructure New York needs

How you will govern differently than your predecessor: I hope to continue her legacy of fighting for change in New York and bring more people into that fight.

Political hero: Fred Hampton

Favorite show or movie you streamed recently: “3%,” a Brazilian sci-fi show on Netflix

RELATED: What the 2021 class of state lawmakers is bringing to Albany

Elijah Reichlin-Melnick, State Senate District 38 

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Elijah Reichlin-Melnick
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Elijah Reichlin-Melnick
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Elijah Reichlin-Melnick for Senate

Party: Democratic

Predecessor: David Carlucci (D)

Previous jobs: Nyack village trustee, legislative director to state Sen. James Skoufis, senior research planner at Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress, executive assistant to Orangetown Supervisor Andy Stewart, district representative for Rep. Nita Lowey, district representative for Rep. Eliot Engel, public elementary school teacher in New Haven, Connecticut

Twitter handle: @Elijah4Senate

Current residence: Nyack, Rockland County

Place of birth: Nyack, Rockland County

Top priority in office: Helping New York recover from COVID-19 in an equitable way that prioritizes public health, education, small businesses and working people.

How you will govern differently than your predecessor: State Sen. David Carlucci built a well-deserved reputation for excellent constituent service and community relations that I will work to uphold. However, he was also a longtime member of the Independent Democratic Conference that caucused with Republicans, while I have always been a proud Democrat and will work with our new supermajority to support pragmatic progressive policies that benefit the residents of the Hudson Valley.

Political hero: Barack Obama, for his progressive, optimistic vision of America, his level-headedness, and for showing that you can succeed in politics without talking down to voters.

Favorite show or movie you streamed recently: I’m almost finished watching “The Boys,” and really enjoying its dark comedy satire of superhero movies.

Michelle Hinchey, State Senate District 46 

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Michelle Hinchey
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Michelle Hinchey
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Michelle Hinchey
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Gerri Hernandez

Party: Democratic

Predecessor: George Amedore (R)
Previous job: Executive director of corporate communications at Epix

Twitter handle: @MichelleHinchey

Current residence: Saugerties, Ulster County

Place of birth: Rhinebeck, Dutchess County

Top priority in office: My top priority is to be a strong upstate voice in the majority conference. This means being focused on things that matter to our communities, bringing new jobs, supporting our small businesses, expanding rural broadband and fighting for better rural health services – all issues that have also been highly exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

How you will govern differently than your predecessor: I believe the foundation of this job is to show up and listen to people from all corners of the district and then to take those conversations and turn them into meaningful action.

Political hero: I learned the true value of public service from my dad. He taught me that government is supposed to work for people and that constituent services should always be your primary focus. Watching him serve with integrity, honesty and grit inspired me to get into public service.

Favorite show or movie you streamed recently: I’ve recently started the series “Madam Secretary.” It does a great job of showing interpolitical and family dynamics in a fun, very engaging way.

Mike Martucci, State Senate District 42 

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Mike Martucci
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Mike Martucci
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NYS Senate

Party: Republican

Predecessor: Jen Metzger (D)

Previous job: Owner of Quality Bus Service

Twitter handle: @MikeMartucciNY

Current residence: New Hampton, Orange County

Place of birth: Suffern, Rockland County

Top priority in office: I ran on public safety, addressing property taxes and supporting our front-line workers. I will introduce legislation within my first two weeks as a state senator to eliminate property taxes for seniors who make under $100,000, provide a refundable tax credit of $1,000 to our front-line health care workers and fully repeal bail reform.

How you will govern differently than your predecessor: I will represent the interests of the residents of District 42, not the interests of a radical few or those that do not call this region home. There is much more to this state than New York City.

Political hero: Theodore Roosevelt, because of his tenacity and strength of character, and former state Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno, who knew how to get things done and was a fierce advocate for upstate New York. I hope to emulate both.

Favorite show or movie you streamed recently: My wife and I just got into rewatching some of the classics from our childhood, so it has to be “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.”

Dan Stec, State Senate District 45 

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Dan Stec
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New York State Assembly

Party: Republican

Predecessor: Betty Little (R)

Previous job: State Assembly member

Twitter handle: @danstec

Current residence: Queensbury, Warren County

Place of birth: Glens Falls, Warren County

Top priority in office: My top priority will be to address the fact that we are the highest-taxed state with the worst business climate. Addressing these issues will be imperative for our recovery from this pandemic. Regionally, I will be addressing the need for high-speed broadband service and improved cellular service, as many residents in the North Country are still underserved. The pandemic has highlighted the severe disadvantage for families and businesses in communities lacking cellular and high-speed broadband.

How you will govern differently than your predecessor: My approach to governance is very similar to that of my friend and colleague, state Sen. Betty Little.

Political hero: President Abraham Lincoln

Favorite show or movie you streamed recently: “The Mandalorian”

John Mannion, State Senate District 50 

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John Mannion
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Tipp Hill

Party: Democratic

Predecessor: Bob Antonacci (R)

Previous jobs: I recently wrapped up a 26-year career as a public school science teacher. This year, I once again taught Advanced Placement biology and chemistry at West Genesee School District, where I also served as a leader of the West Genesee Teachers Association.

Twitter handle: @mannionfor50

Hometown: Geddes, Onondaga County

Place of birth: Tipperary Hill in Syracuse, Onondaga County

Top priority in office: My top priority is ensuring that Central New York gets its fair share from Albany.

How you will govern differently than your predecessor: My predecessor did not finish his term, leaving District 50 without adequate representation in Albany. I view my election as a contract with the voters, and I will serve my entire term and fight for my constituents every hour of every day.

Political hero: President John F. Kennedy has been my political hero since childhood, and I continue to find inspiration in his leadership and vision.

Favorite show or movie you streamed recently: “It’s a Wonderful Life”

Peter Oberacker, State Senate District 51 

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Peter Oberacker
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Office of State Senator Peter Oberacker

Party: Republican

Predecessor: James Seward (R)

Previous jobs: CEO of a small business, food scientist, research chef, sausagemaker, member of the Otsego County Board of Representatives, Maryland town supervisor and town board member

Twitter handle: @peter4senate51

Current residence: Schenevus, Otsego County

Place of birth: Oceanside, Nassau County

Top priority in office: Broadband access is crucial to grow our economy, educate our children, and enhance our daily lives. Lack of broadband connectivity is holding back many of our rural areas and the COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the issue.

How you will govern differently than your predecessor: My predecessor, state Sen. James Seward, was successful because he listened to people’s concerns and worked to effectively meet their needs. I will strive to carry on that high standard of public service while employing my small-business background to bring a new perspective to the job.

Political hero: President Ronald Reagan. “There are no such things as limits to growth, because there are no limits of human intelligence, imagination, and wonder.”

Favorite show or movie you streamed recently: “The Curse of Oak Island” on the History Channel. If anyone has a lead on where the treasure is hidden, let me know.

Samra Brouk, State Senate District 55 

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Samra Brouk
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Erica Jae

Party: Democratic

Predecessor: Rich Funke (R)

Previous jobs: Health education volunteer for the Peace Corps in Guatemala, government relations manager at Recyclebank, business development director at DoSomething.org, head of partnerships at Umbrella, senior director at Chalkbeat

Twitter handle: @samraforsenate

Current residence:Rochester, Monroe County

Place of birth: Rochester, Monroe County

Top priority in office: The pandemic is not impacting people equally. My priorities in Albany will be to better support our front-line workers, to fight proposed cuts to school funding, and to ensure that our social safety net protects people who are at risk because of job loss, health problems, food insecurity and the threat of eviction.

How you will govern differently than your predecessor: I am focused on ensuring that all voices are heard and represented. That means consistently reaching out and building trust across the vast district, in urban, suburban and rural communities.

Political hero: Stacey Abrams

Favorite show or movie you streamed recently: “Madam Secretary”

Jeremy Cooney, State Senate District 56 

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Jeremey Cooney
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Jeremey Cooney
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Jeremey Cooney
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New York State Senate

Party: Democratic

Predecessor: Joseph Robach (R)

Previous jobs: Senior director of community relations at Empire State Development, chief of staff at the city of Rochester, vice president at the YMCA of Greater Rochester, associate attorney at Ward Greenberg Heller & Reidy LLP

Twitter handle: @JeremyCooneyROC

Current residence: Downtown Rochester

Place of birth: Kolkata, India

Top priority in office: Public education. I want to ensure every student in New York receives a quality education, regardless of their ZIP code.

How you will govern differently than your predecessor: I will seek productive relationships and collaboration between upstate and downstate to create a stronger and more equitable New York.

Political hero: The late Rep. Louise Slaughter

Favorite show or movie you streamed recently: Obviously “Bridgerton.” But my wife and I also enjoy “Mozart in the Jungle,” as former classical musicians.

Sean Ryan, State Senate District 60

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Sean Ryan
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Gerri Hernandez

Party: Democratic

Predecessor: Chris Jacobs (R)

Previous jobs: Assembly member; executive director at the Buffalo Neighborhood Stabilization Company

Twitter handle: @SeanMRyan149

Current residence: Buffalo, Erie County

Place of birth: Lackawanna, Erie County

Top priority in office: COVID-19 relief and economic recovery

How you will govern differently than your predecessor: I will work to improve the lives of working-class wage earners in the district.

Who is your political hero: President John F. Kennedy

Favorite show or movie you streamed recently: “Queen’s Gambit”

Ed Rath, State Senate District 61 

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Ed Rath

Party: Republican

Predecessor: Michael Ranzenhofer (R)

Previous jobs: Erie County legislator since 2008; vice president at VARO Technologies

Twitter handle: @EdRath

Current residence: Williamsville, Erie County

Place of birth: Buffalo, Erie County

Top priority in office: My top priority will be to bring a voice and representation to upstate. That includes many things, helping our small businesses recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, making New York a more affordable place to live and raise a family, invest in our aging roads and infrastructure and lastly, support our local family farms.

How you will govern differently than your predecessor: State Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer did a wonderful job representing the 61st Senate District and we have worked together many times over the years. While we may have different styles, I am confident that the residents of the 61st Senate District will continue to have strong representation in Albany. 

Political hero: President Ronald Reagan

Favorite show or movie you streamed recently: “Casino Royale”

Assembly

Jodi Giglio, Assembly District 2 

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Jodi Giglio
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New York State Assembly

Party: Republican

Predecessor: Anthony Palumbo (R)

Previous jobs: Small-business owner; land-use consultant; developer

Twitter handle: @GiglioJodi

Current residence: Riverhead, Suffolk County

Place of birth: Syosset, Nassau County

Top priority in office: Correct bail reform, agricultural issues, getting small businesses open

How you will govern differently than your predecessor: My predecessor paid attention to the needs of the district; I will do the same.

Political hero: Former state Sen. Kenneth LaValle

Favorite show or movie you streamed recently: “Columbo”

Jarett Gandolfo, Assembly District 7 

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Jarett Gandolfo
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Jarett Gandolfo
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Jarett Gandolfo
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Jarett Gandolfo
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Jarett Gandolfo
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New York State Assembly

Party: Republican

Predecessor: Andrew Garbarino (R)

Previous job: Chief of staff to former Assembly Member Andrew Garbarino

Twitter handle: @GandolfoForNY

Current residence: Sayville, Suffolk County

Place of birth: Long Island

Top priority in office: My top priorities are assisting small businesses, environmental and water quality protections, and supporting law enforcement.

How you will govern differently than your predecessor: Not much different

Political hero: President Ronald Reagan

Favorite show or movie you streamed recently: “The Mandalorian”

Michael Durso, Assembly District 9 

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Michael Durso
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Michael Durso
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Michael Durso
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Michael Durso
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New York State Assembly

Party: Republican

Predecessor: Michael LiPetri (R)

Previous jobs: Sanitation supervisor of the town of Oyster Bay; public safety officer at Hofstra University

Current Residence: Massapequa Park, Nassau County

Place of birth: Nassau County

Top priority in office: Advocating for additional funding for vocational programs to train our youth and to fill the shortage of skilled labor. We need to train the workers of tomorrow – starting today.

How you will govern differently than your predecessor: Watch me and you’ll see.

Political hero: My grandfather is Anthony Durso and Michael Montagano. Both were World War II vets and they served their communities with honor. I learned from them both.

Favorite show or movie you streamed recently: “Sugar Rush.” It’s my daughter’s favorite show that I watch with her. She wants to be a baker and loves to get ideas and then cook at home.

Keith Brown, Assembly District 12 

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Keith Brown
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New York State Assembly

Party: Republican

Predecessor: Andrew Raia (R)

Previous job: Municipal attorney

Twitter handle: @NYAssemblyBrown

Current residence: Northport, Suffolk County

Top priority in office: Clean up Long Island Sound

How will you govern differently than your predecessor: Building consensus and intergovernmental agency coordination

Political hero: My father, Justice Harry Richard Brown

Favorite show or movie you streamed recently: “The Mandalorian,” “The Kominsky Method”

Jessica González-Rojas, Assembly District 34 

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Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas
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Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas
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Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas
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Jose Feliz

Party: Democratic

Predecessor: Michael DenDekker (D)

Previous jobs: Executive director at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice; adjunct faculty at New York University Wagner School of Public Service and at the City University of New York

Twitter handle: @votejgr

Current residence: Jackson Heights, Queens

Place of birth: Queens

Top priority in office: My top priority will be pushing to pass revenue-raising legislation, including increasing taxes on the ultrarich. As an intersectional feminist, it is difficult to pick one issue but to pass the New York Health Act, fully invest in our climate justice work, fully fund the MTA, make CUNY free again and more. We must bring in additional revenue.

How you will govern differently than your predecessor: As an activist, I want to ensure that our constituent services are equitably provided to all parts of our district and I want to actively organize our residents to fight for the issues that most directly impact them. In Albany, I will focus most of my attention on ensuring that our immigrant, Black, Indigenous, and non-Black communities of color have an advocate in me. I will bridge where I can but fight unapologetically for universal and guaranteed health care, climate justice, women’s rights, LGBTQ liberation, transportation, criminal justice, a free CUNY, and more.

Political hero: U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor! She's a proud Puerto Rican, New Yorker, and her dissents are fierce.

Favorite show or movie you streamed recently: “Vida.” It grapples with storylines dealing with family, gentrification, queerness and the Latinx experience.

Jenifer Rajkumar, Assembly District 38 

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Jenifer Rajkumar
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Jenifer Rajkumar
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Jenifer Rajkumar
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Sultan Khan

Party: Democratic

Predecessor: Michael Miller (D)

Previous jobs: Civil rights lawyer, adjunct assistant professor at the City University of New York, director of immigration affairs and special counsel for New York state

Twitter handle: @JeniferRajkumar

Current residence: Woodhaven, Queens

Place of birth: Tarrytown, Westchester County

Top priority in office: My top priority is to help end the coronavirus pandemic, ensuring equitable distribution of the vaccine in my district and health care services for my constituents. I will also prioritize the rebuilding of South Queens, with robust constituent services to help workers, families and immigrants succeed.

How you will govern differently than your predecessor: I will govern with energy and strong leadership, bringing government to the people, engaging them in the process, and working hard for my constituents as we rebuild together from the devastation of the coronavirus pandemic.

Political hero: Former U.S. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy of New York and suffragette Alice Paul

Favorite show or movie you streamed recently: “The West Wing”

Emily Gallagher, Assembly District 50 

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Emily Gallagher
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New York State Assembly

Party: Democratic

Predecessor: Joseph Lentol (D)

Previous jobs: Community affairs director for Hostelling International; columnist at the Greenpoint Star; community outreach coordinator at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum

Twitter handle: @EmilyAssembly

Current residence: Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Place of birth: Fairfax, Virginia, but raised outside Rochester, Monroe County

Top priority in office: The most immediate and urgent priority is building a just recovery from this devastating public health and economic crisis, including the prevention of massive state budget cuts to essential services by taxing the wealthiest New Yorkers and investing in workers, renters, commuters and small businesses.

How you will govern differently than your predecessor: I plan to govern as a movement legislator with an emphasis on transparency, local democratic engagement and building community power.

Political hero: 20th century labor leader Rose Schneiderman

Favorite show or movie you streamed recently: “Three’s Company”

Marcela Mitaynes, Assembly District 51 

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Marcela Mitaynes
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Marcela Mitaynes
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Caroline Ourso

Party: Democratic

Predecessor: Félix Ortiz (D)

Previous jobs: Tenant organizer, day care provider at a military base, freelance bookkeeper

Twitter handle: @marcelaforny

Current residence: Sunset Park, Brooklyn

Place of birth: Lima, Peru, but my grandparents are from Huancayo and Arequipa

Top priority in office: Canceling rent for everyone, including small businesses, and also canceling mortgage payments as well as passing the New York Health Act.

How you will govern differently than your predecessor: I am going to be partnering with my community and asking for their input when making decisions.

Political hero: I don’t have one political hero, but I have been very inspired by Evo Morales in Bolivia and his Indigenous-led uprising against capitalism.

Favorite show or movie you streamed recently: I have been binge-watching “The West Wing,” “Selena” and “The Crown.”

Phara Souffrant Forrest, Assembly District 57 

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Phara Soufffant Forrest
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Phara Soufffant Forrest
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Phara Soufffant Forrest
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Phara for Assembly

Party: Democratic

Predecessor: Walter Mosley (D)

Previous jobs: Tenant organizer, nurse

Twitter handle: @phara4assembly

Current residence: Crown Heights, Brooklyn

Place of birth: Brooklyn

Top priority in office: At a time when the stock market is booming while working-class New Yorkers go hungry and struggle to make rent, we need to tax the rich to prevent cuts to vital public services and rebuild our communities. I’ll be working with progressives across New York to raise $50 billion by taxing the 1% so we can end homelessness, fight climate change and provide security and dignity for all New Yorkers.

How you will govern differently than your predecessor: I’m an organizer and a movement legislator. I’ll be working hand in hand with the people in my district.

Political hero: Malcolm X

Favorite show or movie you streamed recently: “Queen’s Gambit.” I love it!

Michael Tannousis, Assembly District 64 

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Michael Tannousis
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Michael Tannousis
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New York State Assembly

Party: Republican

Predecessor: Nicole Malliotakis (R)

Previous jobs: Counsel for New York City Council Member Joseph Borelli; assistant district attorney at Richmond County District Attorney’s Office; assistant district attorney at Bronx County District Attorney’s Office

Twitter handle: @MikeTannousis

Current residence: Staten Island

Place of birth: Staten Island

Top priority in office: Public safety, COVID-19 recovery and small-business relief

How you will govern differently than your predecessor: Like my predecessor, I will continue to be a commonsense voice for New York City taxpayers and those who want a safer community.

Political hero: President Ronald Reagan

Chantel Jackson, Assembly District 79 

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Chantel Jackson
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Chantel Jackson
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Chantel Jackson
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New York State Assembly

Party: Democratic

Predecessor: Michael Blake (D)

Previous job: Licensed social worker for the New York City Department of Education

Twitter handle: @ChantelJ2020

Current resident: South Bronx

Place of birth: Harlem

Top priorities in office: Maternal health, mental health, housing and education

How you will govern differently than your predecessor: I plan on creating a 79th Assembly District advisory board so that constituents can be a part of the legislation I introduce.

Political hero: State Attorney General Letitia James

Favorite show or movie you streamed recently: Disney’s “Soul.” I loved the imagery and message.

Amanda Septimo, Assembly District 84 

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Amanda Septimo
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Amanda Septimo
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Amanda Septimo
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Malik LeGare

Party: Democratic

Predecessor: Carmen Arroyo (D)

Previous jobs: Community liaison for Rep. José E. Serrano; district director for Rep. José E. Serrano; assistant director of political affairs at the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators

Twitter handle: @AmandaSeptimo

Current residence: South Bronx

Place of birth: New York City

Top priority in office: Housing (NYCHA, specifically, and the affordability crisis), economic growth, and youth development

How you will govern differently than your predecessor: I hope to challenge and improve upon the systems of government and politics that have kept the South Bronx behind the curve for the past 40 years. The Bronx deserves leadership that moves beyond diagnosing the problems that plague New York. I hope to be a legislator that plays an active role in realizing the bold, commonsense solutions we need; solutions developed in partnership with the community.

Political hero: Malcolm X, because he was a leader who named injustices and unapologetically advocated for bold solutions.

Favorite show or movie you streamed recently: HBO’s “Succession.” I am willing to debate anyone about how Roman adds the most to the show!

Kenny Burgos, Assembly District 85 

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Kenny Burgos
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Kenny Burgos
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Nick Watkin

Party: Democratic

Predecessor: Marcos Crespo (D)

Previous job: Budget director at the New York City Council

Twitter handle: @KennyBurgosNY

Current residence: Bronx

Place of birth: Soundview, Bronx

Top priority in office: Raising revenue in order to fund a meaningful recovery for New York families.

How you will govern differently than your predecessor: I believe the political landscape has shifted tremendously in just the past two years and my governing style reflects the bold and fresh vision the Bronx is looking for at this moment to lead us in our COVID-19 recovery. I will continue to provide exceptional constituent services as the community is used to while bringing in new systems to be sure we are efficient and highly effective.

Political hero: Rep. Shirley Chisholm

Favorite show or movie you streamed recently: “Ad Astra”

Chris Burdick, Assembly District 93 

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Party: Democratic

Predecessor: David Buchwald (D)

Previous job: Supervisor of the town of Bedford

Twitter handle: @BurdickAD93

Current residence: Bedford, Westchester County

Place of birth: Paterson, New Jersey

Top priority in office: In the age of COVID-19, my highest priority is of course the health of the people of our state – defeating the virus – as well as dealing with the serious economic damage caused by the pandemic.

How you will govern differently than your predecessor: David Buchwald did a superb job as Assembly member. While we each have our own style, I anticipate that I will handle my responsibilities very similarly.

Political hero: President Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Favorite show or movie you streamed recently: “The Mandalorian”

Michael Lawler, Assembly District 97

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Party: Republican

Predecessor: Ellen Jaffee (D)

Previous jobs: Checkmate Strategies LLC; Deputy town supervisor of Orangetown; Adviser to the Westchester County executive; executive director of the New York Republican State Committee

Twitter handle: @Lawler4NY

Current residence: Pearl River, Rockland County

Place of birth: Suffern, Rockland County

Top priority in office: Making New York more affordable for working families, seniors and young people just starting out.

How you will govern differently than your predecessor: I will aggressively advocate for the needs and interests of Rockland County and fight to cut taxes, rein in wasteful spending and get our fair share of state aid for education and transit.

Political hero: President Ronald Reagan

Favorite show or movie you streamed recently: “Survivor.” A fitting show for my new role in the minority of the state Assembly. I’ll have to make alliances and outwit, outplay and outlast my colleagues to get things done.

Matthew Simpson, Assembly District 114 

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Party: Republican

Predecessor: Dan Stec (R)

Previous jobs: Owner of a drywall contracting business for 30 years

Twitter Handle: @mjsimpson22

Current Residence: Glens Falls, Warren County

Top priority in office: Restoring our economy in the wake of the devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

How will you govern differently than your predecessor: My focus will be to build upon the excellent work of my predecessor.

Political hero: President Abraham Lincoln

Favorite show or movie you streamed recently: “Dances With Wolves”

Joe Angelino, Assembly District 122 

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New York State Assembly

Party: Republican

Predecessor: Clifford Crouch (R)

Previous jobs: Retired police chief of the Norwich Police Department; former fire chief; retired sergeant major in the U.S. Marine Corps

Twitter handle: @JosephAngelino

Current residence: Norwich, Chenango County

Place of birth: Norwich, Chenango County

Top priority in office: I believe the most important priority is improving our economic and business climate, especially since the pandemic response has placed extra stress on our economy. I am eager to fight for the changes that make our residents and small businesses more prosperous and help stop the outmigration of our population. Additionally, I support modifications to bail reform, helping family famers and upholding Second Amendment rights.

How you will govern differently than your predecessor: While my background in law enforcement and public service does differ from Cliff Crouch’s agricultural and small-business background, what matters most is the constituency of Assembly District 122 remains the same. Their priorities will be what I fight for every day while in the Assembly.

Political hero: President Ronald Regan is my political hero. He was able to fight and win the Cold War without firing a shot. He accomplished peace through strength by ensuring a strong military and by showing to the world that capitalism helps all the hard-working people of all backgrounds.

Favorite show or movie you streamed recently: My wife and I recently watched “It Happened on Fifth Avenue,” which is always a holiday favorite for us. However, my all-time favorite movie is “The Blues Brothers.”

John Lemondes, Assembly District 126 

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Party: Republican

Predecessor: Gary Finch (R)

Previous jobs: Military officer; defense industry executive; farmer; small-business owner

Current residence: Jamesville, Onondaga County

Place of birth: Syracuse, Onondaga County

Top priority in office: Restoring public safety, backing the law enforcement community and jobs

How you will govern differently than your predecessor: I bring very different and diversified experience to the Assembly.

Political hero: President George Washington

Jeff Gallahan, Assembly District 131 

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Party: Republican

Predecessor: Brian Kolb (R)

Previous jobs: Journeyman machinist, regional sales manager, supervisor of the town of Manchester, owner of CR7 Food Trailer & Catering

Currently residence: Clifton Springs, Ontario County

Place of birth: Canandaigua, Ontario County

Top priority in office: Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!

How you will govern differently than your predecessor: I will govern slightly differently by being totally transparent and always available to my constituents. Communication and honesty are No. 1. I have been a relationship type of leader able to reach out and get my message across to both sides of the aisle.

Political hero: President Ronald Reagan

Favorite show or movie you streamed recently: “It’s a Wonderful Life”

Josh Jensen, Assembly District 134 

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Party: Republican

Predecessor: Peter Lawrence (R)

Previous jobs: 3rd Ward council member in the town of Greece; client strategy and relations supervisor at Tipping Point Communications; director of communications at Monroe Community Hospital; director of communications for state Sen. Joseph Robach

Twitter handle: @JoshJensen134

Current residence: Greece, Monroe County

Place of birth: Rochester, Monroe County

Top priority in office: Work to make our state more affordable by lessening the tax burden and getting state spending under control.

How you will govern differently than your predecessor: I look to continue the tradition of those who previously represented District 134 by putting my constituents and their needs first and working collaboratively with my colleagues from both parties in both chambers.

Political hero: Joe Robach. I worked alongside state Sen. Robach for eight years in serving District 56 and saw firsthand how important it is to be committed to those you represent.

Favorite show or movie you streamed recently: “The Great British Baking Show”

Sarah Clark, Assembly District 136 

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Party: Democratic

Predecessor: Jamie Romeo (D)

Previous jobs: Deputy state director for U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand; regional director for U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton

Twitter handle: @sarahhartclark

Current Residence: Maplewood neighborhood in Rochester, Monroe County

Place of birth: Rochester, Monroe County

Top priority in office: Children and families are my top priority; fighting for equitable education and affordable child care; housing and health care

How you will govern differently than your predecessor: I wouldn’t say that this is different from my predecessor, but my belief is that government needs to work for all. We need to focus on the public service side of elected office. We need to make sure that those who feel most disenfranchised or left behind start to feel included in how they are represented in our Legislature.

Political Hero: My former boss, Kirsten Gillibrand, and all the moms who run for office.

Favorite show or movie you streamed recently: “The Mandalorian”

William Conrad, Assembly District 140

Party: Democratic

Predecessor: Robin Schimminger (D)

Previous jobs: Social studies teacher and coach for 20 years with the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda Union Free School District; Tonawanda town council member since 2016

Current residence: Tonawanda, Erie County

Place of birth: Phoenix, Arizona

Top priority in office: Aid for education and career development; upstate economic growth; environmental sustainability

How you will govern differently than your predecessor: Assembly Member Schimminger has been a vocal advocate for small business, and he prioritized service to his constituents. I will continue in that tradition, while adding a focus on environmental issues.

Political hero: Former U.S. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy of New York

Favorite show or movie you streamed recently: All of the Christmas episodes of “The Office”

Jonathan Rivera, Assembly District 149 

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Party: Democratic

Predecessor: Sean Ryan (D)

Previous jobs: Special assistant to the commissioner of public works of Erie County; legislative liaison in the office of the county executive; branch manager for KeyBank and HSBC Bank; field representative for Rep. Brian Higgins

Twitter handle: @jondrivera

Current residence: Buffalo, Erie County

Place of birth: Buffalo, Erie County

Top priority in office: Relief for those disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and for municipalities that are charged with providing essential services across the state.

How you will govern differently than your predecessor: I’d say Assembly Member Ryan has been a tireless fighter for the working class, and I hope to do the same. I suppose I bring a different perspective given my own background and experiences.

Political hero: President John F. Kennedy

Favorite show or movie you streamed recently: “Elf,” “Feliz Navidad”

Zohran Mamdani, Assembly District 36

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Party: Democratic

Predecessor: Aravella Simotas (D)

Previous job: Housing counselor

Twitter handle: @ZohranKMamdani

Current residence: Astoria, Queens

Place of birth: Kampala, Uganda

Top priority in office: Housing. In the short term, we need to cancel rent and mortgage payments for the duration of the pandemic. In the medium term, we need to pass Good Cause Eviction, setting up the framework for universal rent control statewide. And in the long term, we must move toward the decommodification of housing in New York - which means treating housing less like a consumer product and more like a human right for all, guaranteed by the state.

How you will govern differently than your predecessor: While it's important that our political leaders espouse progressive views, our rhetoric won't become reality until we mobilize a grassroots movement of the multi-racial working class. The key difference between myself and my predecessor will be in my office's plan to use the power and platform of our position to amplify and assist the mobilization of that movement.

Political hero: Khader El-Yateem. Before him, I didn't believe that someone with my background and my beliefs could ever have a place in New York City politics, at least not without having to sacrifice a part of myself as the cost of admission. Here's to no more sacrifice, and much more socialism.

Favorite show or movie you streamed recently: “Dil Dhadakne Do”

The following new lawmakers did not respond to our survey:

Gina Sillitti, Assembly District 16

Party: Democratic

Predecessor: Anthony D’Urso (D)

Previous jobs: Deputy chief of staff and the director of legislative affairs at the town of North Hempstead; deputy commissioner of the Department of Community Services at the town of North Hempstead

Twitter handle: @ginasillitti

Khaleel Anderson, Assembly District 31 

Party: Democratic

Predecessor: Michele Titus (D)

Twitter handle: @KhaleelAnderson

Place of birth: Brooklyn

Current residence: Queens

Stefani Zinerman, Assembly District 56

Party: Democratic

Predecessor: Tremaine Wright (D)

Previous job: Chief of staff to a member of the New York City Council; director of special projects for state Sen. Velmanette Montgomery

Twitter handle: @Zinermanfor56Ad

Current residence: Brooklyn

Anna Kelles, Assembly District 125

Party: Democratic

Predecessor: Barbara Lifton (D)

Previous job: Tompkins County legislator

Twitter handle: @annakelles

Current residence: Ithaca, Tompkins County

Jennifer Lunsford, Assembly District 135

Party: Democratic

Predecessor: Mark Johns (R)

Previous job: Lawyer

Twitter handle: @VoteJenLunsford

Current residence: Rochester, Monroe County

Demond Meeks, Assembly District 137

Party: Democratic

Predecessor: David Gantt (D)

Previous job: Administrative organizer with 1199SEIU, member of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists

Twitter handle: @DemondLMeeks

Place of birth: Rochester, Monroe County

Current residence: Rochester, Monroe County

Zach Williams
is senior state politics reporter at City & State.
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