LATEST PAPER
45° Good Evening
45° Good Evening
NewsElections

New York State Senate: New faces head to Albany to represent the 5 boroughs

Democrats won back the majority in the Senate.

Julia Salazar (from left), Robert Jackson, Jessica Ramos

Julia Salazar (from left), Robert Jackson, Jessica Ramos and John Liu are among the new state senators who will represent parts of New York City. Photo Credit: Alex Purifoy; Eric McNatt; Jessica Ramos campaign; Eric McNatt

Seven new state senators will be headed to Albany to represent parts of the city.

Six of the Democratic candidates rode to easy victory in the general election after winning tough intra-party campaigns in September's primaries. All the ousted incumbents, except Martin Dilan in District 18, were former members of the Independent Democratic Conference, a group of breakaway Dems who caucused with Republicans.

Andrew Gounardes, who won a tight race against longtime Republican Sen. Marty Golden, is the seventh new member from NYC headed to Albany.

The senators will join a new majority in the chamber, with 40 of 63 seats filled by Democrats.

Scroll down to meet the new state senators.

John Liu, District 11 in Queens

Liu is a former city comptroller and city councilman. In the City Council, he represented Flushing, where he is from, and other parts of northeast Queens. He was also a candidate for mayor in 2013.

Prior to running for the State Senate, he was teaching municipal finance and public policy at the City University of New York and Columbia University.

Liu, 51, won against incumbent Tony Avella in the primary and against Republican challenger Vickie Paladino in the general election.

Jessica Ramos, District 13 in Queens

Ramos, the daughter of immigrants, was raised in Astoria and now lives in Jackson Heights with her family. She previously worked as the director of Latino media in Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration and has been a union advocate, community organizer and Community Board member. 

Ramos defeated incumbent José Peralta in the primary and general elections. There was no Republican challenger.

Julia Salazar, District 18 in Brooklyn

Before running for office, Salazar was a community organizer with the Democratic Socialists of America and other activist groups. The 27-year-old, whose father was a Colombian immigrant, was born in Florida. 

She moved to Manhattan to attend Columbia University, working as a nanny to support herself during her studies, and later moved to Bushwick, one of the neighborhoods in her district.  

Salazar beat incumbent Martin Dilan in the primary and ran uncontested in the general election.

Zellnor Myrie, District 20 in Brooklyn

Myrie is a 31-year-old lawyer and former legislative director in City Council. He was raised in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, by his mom, an immigrant from Costa Rica. 

He successfully challenged incumbent Jesse Hamilton in the primary and general elections. There was no Republican challenger.

Andrew Gounardes, District 22 in Brooklyn

Gounardes, 33, served as counsel to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. He is the co-founder of the community group, Bay Ridge Cares, which formed after superstorm Sandy to hand out meals to residents.

The Bay Ridge native also was an aide to former City Councilman Vincent Gentile and has worked for the non-profit, Citizens Committee for New York City. 

Gounardes won against journalist Ross Barkan in the primary and beat longtime Republican incumbent Marty Golden in the general election.

Robert Jackson, District 31 in Manhattan

Jackson, 67, was a city councilman from 2002 to 2013, representing parts of upper Manhattan. He grew up in Harlem and now lives with his family in Washington Heights, part of District 31.

Jackson ran unsuccessfully for the State Senate twice before 2018. This year, he beat incumbent Marisol Alcantara in the primary and Republican challenger Melinda Crump in the general election.

Alessandra Biaggi, District 34 in the Bronx

Biaggi was born and raised in New York's District 34, which includes parts of Westchester and the Bronx. Before running for office, she was the operations director on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

The 32-year-old lawyer defeated incumbent Jeff Klein, the leader of the IDC, in the primary and Republican challenger Richard Ribustello in the general election.

Comments

We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

News photos & videos