Cooney was adopted from an Indian orphanage by an upstate New York college professor.
Name: Jeremy Cooney
District: New York 56th Senate District
Education: JD from Albany Law School, Albany, NY; BA (honors) from the Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, NY
Profession: Lawyer, currently a principal with the upstate New York public affairs firm Red Thread Strategies
Experienced upstate political operative Jeremy Cooney is the second Indian American to get elected to the New York State Senate. He won the upstate district in his second attempt. In 2018, in his first attempt, the Democrat lost to incumbent Sen. Joseph Robach, an Albany “lifer.” Robach did not run this November.
In 2018, Kevin Thomas became the first Indian American to get elected to the New York State Senate. The Democrat won from the NY 6th district by beating incumbent Sen. Kemp Hannon, a New York state lawmaker since January 1977.
Cooney’s incredible life story began with his adoption from an Indian orphanage by the late Anne Cooney, who worked as an English professor at Monroe Community College in upstate New York, for more than three decades.
Raised as a single mother by Ann Cooney, Jeremy went on to graduate from the liberal arts Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, NY, with a major in public policy and earn a JD from the Albany Law School.
The lawyer and Eagle Scout is no stranger to local and state politics in New York, having served as an aide to a number of officials at all levels. They include serving as Downtown Community Relations official for Gov. Andrew Cuomo (2016-2017), as chief of staff to Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren (2014-2016), and as staff assistant to US Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-NY, (2004-2005).
“I’ve spent the past few weeks meeting with people who are looking for change and for a representative that votes correctly on issues important to them, such as raising the minimum wage, common-sense gun safety, long-overdue bail reform, and providing educational opportunities for immigrant families,” Cooney said about his run from the 56th district in a press release. “For the past 15 years, we’ve been dealt short-term tax relief that’s no substitute for real economic growth — the type of growth that creates stable, good-paying jobs that give people the confidence to buy a house, start a family, and continue to call upstate New York home.”
The 56th district includes the County of Monroe and parts of the City of Rochester.
Cooney, who was named “Forty Under 40” by the Rochester Business Journal, has served in several leadership positions. While at the Albany Law School, he was a class president. For his other alma mater, Hobart Colleges, he served as a Manager for Campaign Leadership — a fundraising role. He was also appointed to the Young Leaders Congress of New York.
(This post was updated November 18, 2020)
Jeremy Cooney becomes second Indian American to enter New York State Senate (November 18, 2020)