(WKBW) - Democrat Karen McMahon beat four-year republican incumbent Ray Walters to become the assembly member of the 146th district. She will preside over the towns of Amherst and Pendleton.
“I think education is an investment in our future, so that's always important.Health care and just trying to bring jobs to western New York," McMahon said.
The mother of three daughters decided to run after the result of the last presidential election.
"Like many women, I was motivated by the results of the election 2016," she said.
She is the first democratic woman to ever hold the seat of the 146th district. McMahon is indicative of a new make-up in New York politics.
Election day was a historic occasion for woman. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest official elected to congress at 29. Andrea Stewart-Cousins will most likely be the first ever African-American leader of the New York state senate.
"That's one of the Trump effects certainly," Kevin Hardwick, political science professor at Canisius College, said.
This all paints a larger picture of the new look for New York state politics. The assembly, senate, and governor's office are controlled by democrats. At the moment of publication, Democrats lead the senate 35 to 21 with seven races too close to call yet. In the assembly, there are 107 democrats to 41 republicans with 2 races still left.
"The New York state senate was the last bastion of republican power in New York State," political science professor at Canisius College, Kevin Hardwick, said.
It's only the third time that democrats have held a majority in the senate.
Hardwick said that this could have major implications on future policy making decisions.
"Expanded abortion laws, maybe third trimester. We're talking about maybe some more gun control," he said. "Without the republicans controlling the state senate, there is no effective check."
Jim Battista, political science professor at the University of Buffalo, said that it's a good problem for the democrats to have. Democrats will be able to pass legislation efficiently until all the easy bills are passed.
"Issues that start dividing upstate Democrats versus down state democrats," he said. "That's a good problem, but that doesn't make it not a problem though."
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