If somebody stops you in the Capitol to ask for directions, help them out – they might just be a new lawmaker.
Last year’s elections saw some major shake-ups, giving Democrats control of the state Senate for the first time since 2010. That means a lot of new faces in the chamber. Seventeen new state senators are finding their way around the Capitol in total, including two Republicans. The Assembly, remaining safely blue, welcomed 22 new members from both sides of the aisle. With 39 new legislators, it’s the largest new class in at least a decade.
In order to get to know them a little better, City & State asked each new lawmaker about their top priorities, how they will govern differently than their predecessor, who their political hero is and – perhaps most tellingly – what animal they would be, and why. Their responses have been edited for length and clarity.