RELEASE: The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee Announces Spotlight Candidates to Strengthen Democratic Power in the New York Senate

Press Releases

WASHINGTON — Today, the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) announced 2024 Spotlight candidates in New York running for Senate seats to defend New Yorkers from Trump’s MAGA allies and bolster the Democratic power in the state legislature. These Democratic incumbents are running on strong records of accomplishments and will keep New York state a bright example of Democratic progress.  

The Spotlight candidates unveiled today in New York are: 

Sen. Iwen Chu (SD-17) became the first Asian-American woman ever elected to the New York Senate in 2022, and she’s running for reelection this fall. Iwen came to New York City from Taiwan to pursue a master’s degree. She fell in love with the culture and has dedicated herself to serving her adopted community ever since. Her position in the legislature has given her the opportunity to advocate for public education funding and improvements, help make stable housing more affordable for working families, promote small business development, and secure record investments in the public library system.

Sen. Lea Webb (SD-52) is a community organizer and former educator at Binghamton University running for reelection to the New York Senate. Lea’s organizing work is driven by her commitment to expanding opportunities for civic engagement, and she has worked with and even helped found organizations to train and encourage thousands of women and people of color to navigate the political landscape, participate in the electoral process, and sometimes run for office themselves. As a state Senator, Lea is Chair of the Women’s Issues Committee, which has given her a unique platform to help protect reproductive freedom and improve maternal health outcomes. Lea has also sponsored bills to improve public education, promote small business growth, mitigate climate change, and establish universal health care for all New Yorkers. 

The New York Senate Democratic majority was critical to passing legislation this session that protects LGBTQ+ New Yorkers and survivors of sexual assault, and has made sure that MAGA attacks on reproductive rights and our democracy have no chance of gaining ground in the Empire State. Democratic power in New York allows the state to shine as a beacon of progress, and victory for these Senate incumbents would allow the Democratic majorities to continue leading on fundamental freedoms. 

This announcement continues the momentum of DLCC’s “Summer of the States” campaign, which launched last month to call attention to the critical window to build the infrastructure for Democrats to push past Republican efforts and boost our chances for victory in November. These strong New York candidates join hundreds of candidates who are mounting inspiring campaigns in every corner of the country to build Democratic power and block Republican extremism in state legislatures. 

Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Chair of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee and NYS Senate Majority Leader, issued the following statement:

“From Brooklyn to Binghamton, Senators Iwen Chu and Leah Webb have proven themselves as trailblazing public servants who tirelessly advocate for their communities. Their leadership has been instrumental in passing vital legislation that reduces the cost of living, combats climate change, ensures robust funding for our public schools and protects reproductive health rights. Their dedication to meaningful results is evident in the positive changes we’ve seen across New York State. Re-electing these champions of progress is crucial for continuing the momentum of our shared vision for a better, more equitable future.”

Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee President Heather Williams issued the following statement:

“The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee is proud to announce our Spotlight candidates for the New York Senate, whose victories will strengthen Democratic power in the state. The progress made by the New York Democratic majorities reminds us of the transformative impact of state legislatures. New York Democrats have used their majorities to block GOP extremism and pass legislation that protects fundamental freedoms and vulnerable communities.

“The DLCC’s Spotlight program uplifts some of the best opportunities to build and cement Democratic power, and we’re thrilled to continue our momentum from our ‘Summer of the States’ campaign with the announcement of these New York candidates. Their victories will keep New York moving forward as a beacon of progressive values.”

The DLCC is the official arm of the Democratic Party with the sole mission of building Democratic power in the states and setting the national agenda at the state level. Over the last decade, we have fought cycle-over-cycle to gain a dozen new legislative chamber majorities and we are leading the effort to bring national attention and investment to our ballot level. State legislatures are the building blocks of our democracy and have the closest connections to Americans’ day-to-day lives. From protecting fundamental freedoms and voting rights to growing the middle class, the DLCC and state legislators are moving the Democratic agenda forward and shaping the future of this country.