New York City

State candidates that made history

New York firsts from the 2018 general election.

Robert Jackson

Robert Jackson Photo by Eric McNatt

This year, New York voters had the opportunity to elect a number of candidates to the state Legislature who would mark historic firsts. Here's a look at the candidates who got enough votes to make history.


FIRST MUSLIM IN THE STATE SENATE

Robert Jackson won his race on Tuesday to become the first Muslim in the state Senate. Jackson beat state Sen. Marisol Alcantara, a former member of the Independent Democratic Conference, in a closely watched Democratic primary and easily won last night with 80.83 percent of the vote.

“I’ve been a Muslim since 1975. I haven’t just recently become a Muslim,” Jackson said in 2010, when he was the only Muslim member of the New York City Council. “And all of my entire family are Muslim, my wife, my three daughters.”

FIRST ASIAN-AMERICAN STATE SENATORS

John Liu
lev radin / Shutterstock
John Liu, the former New York City comptroller, will become the first Asian-American to serve in the state Senate. The Taiwanese-born politician, who was the first Asian-American elected to the New York City Council and then the first elected to a citywide post, won handily in Queens last night with 51.73 percent compared to Republican Vickie Paladino’s 23.46 percent and Democratic incumbent state Sen. Tony Avella’s 19.18 percent.

“Yes, I’m the first Asian-American, but as I often say, I wish I were the ninth or 10th,” Liu told the Times Union prior to the election. “I mean, for goodness sake, it’s 2018.”

Liu also could share the historic feat with Kevin Thomas, who would be the first Indian-American elected to the state Legislature. Thomas ended the night with a narrow lead over state Sen. Kemp Hannon and declared victory in the race.

FIRST HASIDIC JEW IN THE STATE LEGISLATURE

Simcha-Eichenstein
Simcha Eichenstein for State Assembly
Simcha Eichenstein will be the first Hasidic Jew elected to the state Legislature after winning in an uncontested race in Assembly District 48. Of course, he wouldn’t be the first Orthodox Jew ever elected – Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who is vacating the seat, is Orthodox.

Eichenstein grew up in Borough Park in the Bobov community, a Hasidic sect within Haredi Judaism. “I guess someone has to be the first but I’m certain I won’t be the last,” Eichenstein said. “Our vibrant and growing community is filled with Hasidic-minded individuals who are eager to give back to the community as public servants. … It will be a pleasure to dispel any stereotypes that anyone might still have of the Hasidic Jewish community.”

FIRST “DREAMER”

Cruz for New York
Catalina Cruz, the Democratic nominee in the 39th Assembly District who heavily campaigned on her identity as “Dreamer” – a cohort that immigrated here illegally as children – and how she would be the first one to hold office in New York, won last night with 77.07 percent

“When the DREAM Act was originally written, thousands of undocumented youth like myself pinned their hopes and dreams on action from the federal government,” she said in a statement. “Today, many more continue to live in fear while facing uncertain futures. All are DREAMers, and Americans in every which way except on paper.”

Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that Charles Fall could be the first Muslim in the state Assembly. In fact, Roger Green, who served in the Assembly in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, was also a Muslim.

NEXT STORY: Who's up and who's down this week?

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.