Southeast Queens elected official scores major endorsements to fend off primary challenge

Queens Cook
Assemblywoman Vivian Cook (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

As she faces her first primary challenge since 2016, Assemblywoman Vivian Cook received three major endorsements this week from Congressman Gregory Meeks, State Attorney General Letitia James and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.

Cook, 84, has represented her southeast Queens district in Albany since 1991. Assembly District 32 represents the neighborhoods of Jamaica Estates, Rochdale Village and Springfield Gardens.

“I am proud to receive the endorsements of these longtime, dedicated public officials, who I have had the pleasure of working with to protect and improve the quality of life of residents of Jamaica, Queens,” Cook said. “As the pandemic comes to a close, I look forward to continue collaborating with them and the rest of my colleagues in government to work for an equitable recovery that ensures our community and state become stronger than ever.”

With the primary approaching on June 28, Cook is facing a challenge from longtime York College Professor Anthony Andrews, who has the backing of the Working Families Party. Meeks, the Queens County Democratic Chair, threw his support behind Cook, whom he has worked with for three decades.

“When I was elected to serve in the NYS Assembly in 1992, my friend Vivian Cook was already there, paving her own way in a male-dominated legislative body,” Meeks said. “As a seasoned assemblywoman, Vivian has been in the trenches for more than 30 years fighting for what’s right, what’s fair, and what’s beneficial for her constituents in the 32nd Assembly District. Assemblywoman Cook has proven she continues to be an effective legislator, and I am proud to support her re-election efforts to continue being a powerhouse in the Assembly.”

During her tenure, Cook has helped thousands of southeast Queens residents navigate government services over the years, securing funding for projects that supported affordable housing, infrastructure, public education and senior services. She is also credited with helping to keep rents affordable in Rochdale Village, home to more than 25,000 residents in her district.

“A real trailblazer and tireless champion of her community, Ms. Cook has been a resolute public servant to generations of hardworking Queens families,” James said. “She is a longtime friend and mentor who loves and proudly serves her community.”

Cook secured funding to build popular places in Jamaica including the park on 150th Street between 115th and 116th avenues; the 140th Street Park next to the Van Wyck Expressway; and Rochdale Park, including its tennis courts and recreation building.

“While serving in the state Legislature, I saw firsthand how effective and passionate Assemblywoman Cook is about advocating for her constituents and I am proud to endorse her for re-election in the Democratic primary,” DiNapoli said. “At a time when we need experienced leaders to help get our economy back on track, Assemblywoman Cook is the person we need to make sure New York comes out of the pandemic stronger than before.”