Incoming state Senate majority leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins headlined Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone’s re-election fundraiser Wednesday and announced that she will be endorsing him during his 2019 campaign.
Held at Coindre Hall, the $250-a-head cocktail hour (with VIP prices reaching $25,000), was filled with over 200 supporters and legislators backing the county executive and followed by an enthusiastic rally.
Stewart-Cousins’ visit was highly anticipated by the crowd the entire night. The first woman in the history of New York to lead a conference in the state legislature, she made it clear how happy she is to have 15 women in the Senate – especially such a diverse group of women working on so many issues.
“We’re here to bring the policies of ethics and hard work and intelligent government,” she said, “We can do it while we are building businesses, creating jobs, educating our kids – we can do it because we can.”
During her speech, which got people cheering and photographing excitedly, she joked that her advisors had to remind her to say she supports Bellone.
“I’m coming all the way from Westchester during rush hour to be here,” she said while looking at him. “Steve, I endorse you!”
Bellone took the microphone and jokingly added, “So I guess I’m running.”
The Suffolk County executive made it clear that having women in politics is the future. “It’s 2018 and we’re making history with trailblazers like Andrea,” he said. “We need more women in elected office – our county, state and government would be a far better place if women were in office the way men are.”
When the two-hour event ended, Bellone said that he thought the fundraiser was a big success. “It was a good night for us in administration, but it was a good night for Suffolk County,” he said. “We saw here the great partnership we have with the state of New York.”
Bellone added that he was grateful that Stewart-Cousins came to Long Island at 6 p.m. on a Wednesday night to attend the event. “To have the incoming leader here tonight, along with the entire senate majority delegation, is a great thing for Suffolk County and for Long Island,” he said. “I appreciate their support personally, but more importantly this is about the people of Suffolk County and Long Island as a whole.”