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Crystal Peoples-Stokes named Assembly majority leader

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Crystal Peoples-Stokes, a Buffalo Democrat, has been named majority leader of the New York State Assembly. Speaker Carl Heastie made the announcement Monday morning. Peoples-Stokes becomes the first woman and the first African-American to hold the post. In a statement, Heastie calls her "an ideal partner" who is "widely respected by her colleagues."

"Serving alongside Crystal Peoples-Stokes, I have had the opportunity to see firsthand how hard she works for the people of Buffalo and for families across our state,” Heastie said. “Crystal is a trusted colleague who I have known for many years, and her experience and dedication to improving the lives of all New Yorkers is why I know she will make an ideal partner in leading the Assembly Majority. Crystal is widely respected by her colleagues and I am proud to appoint her as the next Majority Leader of the People’s House.”

Peoples-Stokes, a graduate of a Buffalo's public schools and Buffalo State College, has represented the 141st District since 2003. She succeeds Joseph Morelle, who was elected to Congress in November in New York's 25th District.

The majority leader is responsible for the day-to-day operational duties of the chamber, including overseeing the floor during debates. It is considered the second most powerful post in the Assembly and Peoples-Stokes' influence is expected to have a positive impact on Western New York.

“I am proud and honored that Speaker Heastie has asked me to serve as majority leader for the New York State Assembly,” Peoples-Stokes said, in a statement. “Throughout my career I have fought so that everyone - regardless of zip code, school district, race or background - has access to the tools and opportunities they need to succeed. I look forward to using my new role as majority leader to continue fighting for New York’s families.”