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Women make up 51% of the population of New York State, yet just 16% of New York State Senators are women.

This year, that could all change.

12 of the Democrats challenging Republicans for their seats are women. That’s 12 out of 22 Democratic candidates running for seats currently held by Republicans. That’s the most female candidates we’ve had in a single election, and they represent a tremendous opportunity to remake the New York State Senate.

Please contribute what you can to support our women senators and help send new women reformers to Albany.

Image of Susan Savage

Susan Savage


Since she became Schenectady County Legislative Chair, Susan Savage restructured and streamlined county economic development. She helped bring $400 million and created 3300 jobs. Her efforts have led to a revitalized downtown Schenectady and expanded suburban industrial parks in Rotterdam and Glenville. Savage’s new perspective also fostered cooperation between county and local government, saving taxpayer money. Her approach and success have resulted in a resurgent economy that is a model in upstate New York. Now, Savage is ready to bring her new perspective and new ideas to Albany.

Image of Mary Wilmot

Mary Wilmot


Mary Wilmot is a life-long resident of Monroe County who brings a strong family background of service to District 55. As Regional Director for the Governor and the New York State Senate, Wilmot has extensive knowledge of the challenges Upstate New York faces. Drawing on her experience in this role, she understands the need to rein in excessive government spending and high taxes in order to preserve our local economies. As a mother and working parent, Wilmot is also committed to revitalizing our upstate community job markets. Mary will bring her passion for the environment to the Senate, championing investment in clean energy alternatives and energy conservation that will bring new industries to New York and create good jobs in Monroe County.

Suzi Oppenheimer


Senator Suzi Oppenheimer has earned a reputation in the Legislature as an energetic and vocal advocate for education, environmental protection, childcare, health care, fiscal reform and the arts. She chairs the Senate Task Force on Women's Issues and serves as Treasurer of the Legislative Women’s Caucus, a bipartisan group of New York women legislators that focuses on policy issues affecting women and children. The Senator has sponsored dozens of reform proposals and numerous bills that have been signed into law. These measures address wide-ranging issues including clinic access, school violence, hate crimes, banning assault weapons, osteoporosis prevention, and reforming the notice provisions for property condemnation. Most recently, she was one of the leading senators responsible for securing New York State $700 million in Race to the Top funds.

Andrea Stewart-Cousins


Andrea Stewart-Cousins was first elected to the New York State Senate in 2006. During her time in office, she successfully fought for unprecedented levels of additional funding for Yonkers city services and schools, and ensured that State foundation aid to Westchester schools saw the highest increases in the last decade. She has also introduced and passed an Election Reform Legislation Package, and co-sponsored legislation to make permanent the Power for Jobs program.

Senator Stewart-Cousins is an advocate for human rights, quality education, tax relief, accessible and affordable health care, youth development, environmental protections, and, making government more open, transparent and accountable to all of our citizens. Her belief that creating change locally affects changes on the State level has driven her legislative and policy agenda, at home and in Albany.

Image of Didi Barrett

Didi Barrett


Democratic challenger Didi Barrett, a citizen candidate, has been a leader in the not-for-profit community for more than two decades. She is a board member of the North East Dutchess Fund and the Millbrook Education Foundation; she was the founder of Girls Inc of New York and is spearheading the development of the new Dutchess Girls Collaborative. She has served on the boards of the NY Women’s Foundation, the Women’s Campaign Fund, NARAL-NY, Planned Parenthood NY and the American Folk Art Museum. For the last two years, she has been the coordinator for her town's Community Day.

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Joanne Yepsen


A Saratoga County Supervisor, Joanne has helped keep Saratoga the lowest taxed county in the state of New York. Yepsen is committed to a zero-tolerance policy for party politics that get in the way of open, honest, efficient government. She has been re-elected County Supervisor three times on a proven record of integrity that focuses on the issues and needs of the individuals, families and businesses she represents. Her opponent is Joe Bruno’s hand-picked successor in a district with the largest share of independent voters in the state.

Liz Krueger


In the Senate, Liz Krueger serves as the Vice Chairman of the Finance Committee, and she has made reforming and modernizing New York State’s governmental and electoral processes and tax policy a central goal of her legislative agenda. 
 She has served on numerous boards, including the Manhattan Borough President’s Task Force on Education, Employment and Welfare. In her first term, Senator Krueger was a leader in the successful fight to pass the Women’s Health and Wellness Act.

Image of Jennifer Maertz

Jennifer Maertz


Jennifer Maertz, D-WF Rocky Point, is a lifelong resident of Suffolk County. She is committed to working hard to pass necessary ethics reforms, obtaining a fair share of state school aid for Long Island public schools, and fighting for fair share for Long Island taxpayers.

She is a supporter of marriage equality, serious state budget reform and property tax relief. Just as important, Maertz is committed to reversing a decade-long trend on Long Island of stagnant job growth and, more recently, significant job losses.

Kathleen Joy


Syracuse Common Counselor-At-Large and Majority Leader Kathleen Joy is challenging John DeFrancisco for control of the 50th District. As a Councilor, she has sponsored legislation to promote green infrastructure, building standards and open space, and she also initiated many of the housing programs embraced by the Syracuse City Administration and adopted by the Common Council. Joy has a history of working across the aisle to get things done for her community. In addition to her civic work, Joy is a real estate attorney and small business owner who has helped many first time homeowners fulfill their dreams of home ownership.

Image of Pam Mackesey

Pam Mackesey


Pam Mackesey is running for State Senate because she is fed up with high taxes, continual budget deficits, and the dysfunction in Albany. As a union organizer, she witnessed first-hand the struggles that everyday Shuyler, Steuben, and Chemung county residents face. As a single parent, she raised her daughter while working two, sometimes three jobs. Serving on Ithaca's Common Council for 6 years and currently fulfilling her second term on the Tompkins County Legislature, Pam is prepared to go to Albany to work hard for her constituents and change the way business is done.

Image of Robin Wilt

Robin Wilt


Robin Wilt brings a long-standing commitment to progressive causes to Monroe County. As community activist, real estate agent, and small business owner, Wilt has seen first-hand the economic challenges facing Monroe County. In 2008, Robin co-founded the Genesee Valley chapter of Progressive Democrats of America, a grassroots organization dedicated to working inside and outside the Democratic Party to advance progressive causes. As Senator, Wilt will tirelessly work for the people of Monroe and champion a return to good government, good jobs and good leadership.

Image of Cynthia Appleton

Cynthia Appleton


Cynthia Appleton is a long-time community leader who is now stepping up to help us in Albany. She has spent 35 years in health care, the last 24 years as a critical care nurse. A lifelong resident of Wyoming County, her family roots in dairy farming and small business in western New York go back over a century. Now in her third term as a Village Trustee in Warsaw, Appleton has the experience to understand the impact Albany has on the local level and what needs to be done. A wife and mom, Appleton is also an award-winning director and actor in local theater and a member of Warsaw Grange 1088, the Warsaw Chamber of Commerce, and many other groups.

Carol Gordon


As a Mental Health Clinic Manager and Patient Advocate at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Carol Gordon served our veterans for 25 years. In this role, Carol developed a strong commitment to American Veterans and initiated many sustainable support programs, including championing an effort to have the first women veterans admitted to an all male unit. She was active on the Ethics, Family Council, and various veterans committees, and also served as manager of the Federal Women’s Program for 22 Years. In 2008, Carol became a member of the National Organization of Women and the Chairperson of the mentoring and education committee for Urban Financial Services Coalition of Long Island, an organization that promotes financial literacy.

Ruth Hassell-Thompson


First elected to the New York State Senate in 2000, Ms. Ruth Hassell-Thompson brings years of public service and community involvement to her post as the Senator of the 36th Senatorial District. Before her election to the State Senate, she served on the Mount Vernon City Council as Council President and Acting Mayor. Prior to holding elected office, she was President/CEO of Whart Development Company, Inc., a real estate development company that provided consultant services to small and developing businesses.

Toby Stavisky


Toby Ann Stavisky is the first woman from Queens County elected to the State Senate and the first woman to Chair the Senate Committee on Higher Education. From 2003 to 2008, Senator Stavisky served as Assistant Minority Whip and Ranking Minority Member of the Committee on Higher Education. Currently she is Vice Chairwoman of the Majority Conference and Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Higher Education. Senator Stavisky is one of six New York State members of the Education Commission of the States (ECS), a state-based educational organization serving all fifty states.

Velmanette Montgomery


In the senate, Velmanette Montgomery is recognized for her effective leadership and steadfast commitment to her constituents in north and central Brooklyn, as well as to New Yorkers statewide. In her role as Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Children and Families, Senator Montgomery is committed to helping young people achieve positive outcomes through reform of the State's juvenile justice, foster care and adoptive care systems. She is also one of New York's leading proponents of school-based health care as a model system for delivering comprehensive primary and mental health services to children of all ages.

Diane J. Savino


Diane Savino has dedicated her professional career towards improving the lives of working families. An active member of her local labor union, the Social Service Employees Union, Local 371, DC 37 of AFSCME, she quickly rose through the ranks to become the Vice President for Political Action & Legislative Affairs, where she became one of the most respected labor leaders in New York State. As a Senator, Savino passed a law that ended the 5-year statute of limitation on sexual assault, the Prompt Pay Bill, the Paid Family Leave Bill, and the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, expanding basic worker protection rights to domestic workers.

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