• Press Release

EMILYs List Endorses Five Democratic Pro-Choice Champions for Mayor in New York State

October 3, 2023


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today EMILYs List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, endorsed five pro-choice champions for mayor in New York state: Kate Wdowiasz for mayor of Dunkirk, Shawyn Patterson-Howard for mayor of Mount Vernon, Yadira Ramos-Herbert for mayor of New Rochelle, Celeste Friend for mayor of Utica, and Nina Nichols for mayor of Troy. These five women join 17 currently endorsed mayoral candidates as part of EMILYs List’s Madam Mayor program. EMILYs List Senior Vice President of Campaigns Jessica Mackler released the following statement: 

“EMILYs List is proud to endorse each of these women for election because they have demonstrated not only a strong commitment to reproductive freedom but the dedication and tenacity required to make their cities a better place for all. Mayors and women in local executive leadership stand at the forefront of many of the most important issues of our time, and we are honored to support these leaders as they seek to serve their communities and protect our rights.”

Kate Wdowiasz is a paralegal for the city of Dunkirk with extensive experience in City Hall operations and a strong vision for the future of Dunkirk. She has been a paralegal for over 20 years and is running to revive the downtown area, develop more affordable housing, and increase government transparency.

Shawyn Patterson-Howard is the first woman mayor of Mount Vernon, where she has served since 2020. She has worked in not-for-profit and government sectors for the past 25 years and was the city’s commissioner of planning and community development and executive director of the Urban Renewal Agency prior to being elected mayor.

Yadira Ramos-Herbert is the current councilwoman for New Rochelle City Council’s 3rd District and a former elected member of the New Rochelle Public Library. She is also currently an associate dean at Columbia Law School and has worked on law enforcement reform, COVID-19 vaccination, and youth empowerment as a member of the city council.

Celeste Friend is a 20-year resident of Utica and the councilwoman for the city’s 3rd Ward. As a union member of United University Professions, she is a strong supporter of labor unions, and has worked on the city council to increase transparency in City Hall, promote affordable housing, and protect Utica’s natural resources.

Nina Nichols is a former city councilwoman and a member of the Rensselaer County Legislature representing District 1, where she has served residents of Troy since 2022. She is a strong advocate for small businesses and community accessibility, and currently also serves as the assistant director of development at Unity House, a human services agency.

EMILYs List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, works to elect Democratic pro-choice women up and down the ballot and across the country with a goal of fighting for our rights and our communities. Our work is centered around a fundamental vision: Run. Win. Change the World. EMILYs List has raised $850 million in service to that vision and has helped Democratic women win competitive elections by recruiting and training candidates, supporting and helping build strong campaigns, researching the issues that impact women and families, running one of the largest independent expenditure operations for Democrats, and turning out women voters to the polls. Since our founding in 1985, we have helped elect the country’s first woman as vice president, 175 women to the House, 26 to the Senate, 20 governors, and over 1,500 women to state and local office. More than 40% of the candidates EMILYs List has helped elect to Congress have been women of color. Visit www.emilyslist.org for more information.