Stewart-Cousins takes the leadership Monday, at a time when a bipartisan majority will rule the Senate. Thirty-one Republicans and Democratic Sen. Simcha Felder of Brooklyn, who is siding with the GOP, have allied with five members of the Independent Democratic Conference to assume control.
She represents the 35th Senate District, which covers Ardsley, Dobbs Ferry, Elmsford, Greenburgh, Hastings-on-Hudson, Irvington, Mount Pleasant, Pleasantville, Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown and Yonkers.
She served as a legislator in the Westchester County Legislature from 1999 to 2006.
Stewart-Cousins is a widow, with three children. She was on the short list of lieutenant governor candidates to run alongside Andrew Cuomo during his successful gubernatorial bid in 2010.
She attended Pace University and Lehman College.