Adele Cohen

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Adele Cohen
Member of the New York State Assembly
from the 46th district
In office
February 09, 1998 – November 7, 2006
Preceded by Jules Polonetsky
Succeeded by Alec Brook-Krasny
Personal details
Born (1942-07-19) July 19, 1942 (age 72)
New York City, New York
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Steven Cohen
Religion Judaism

Adele Cohen (born July 19, 1942)[1] is an American lawyer and former politician. She is a 1964 graduate of Brooklyn College.[2]

Participation in politics[edit]

1991 race for New York City Council[edit]

After having failed in her first attempt to run for office (namely the 33rd district of New York City) in 1989, Cohen made her second run for office in the 1991 election race for New York City Council District 48 in Southern Brooklyn, which had been created just prior to the election. She ran in a tightly-contested Democratic primary against both then-Congressional aide of Chuck Schumer (and future, incumbent Congressman) Anthony Weiner and Brooklyn Democratic County Committee endorsee Michael Garson, representing a labor/progressive coalition known as the Majority Coalition for a New New York.[3]

Controversy ensued in the last weeks of the campaign, however, when Weiner's campaign had anonymously spread leaflets around the District which had alleged ties between Cohen and the so-called "Jackson-Dinkins agenda"; the leaflets referred to the Crown Heights riots earlier in the year, after which White residents had seen Jackson (who became notorious for his earlier remarks about New York City as "Hymietown") and then-mayor Dinkins as having been beholden to the predominately-African-American rioters and thus endangering of White residents.[4] Dinkins, during the campaign, described the leaflet as "hateful". When Weiner admitted his campaign's distribution of the leaflets, Weiner stated that he "didn't want the source to be confused with the message";[5] the New York Times issued an editorial which rebuked Weiner's "hit-and-run tactics".[6]

Cohen eventually ending up losing to Weiner by 195 votes.[7] Weiner won the November election, widely considered a formality with no opposition in the heavily-Democratic district.

The next year, Cohen was selected as the state chairwoman of the National Women's Political Caucus.[8] She ran again for the City Council's 27th District against Howard L. Lasher in 1997,[9] but lost in the three-way Democratic primary.

State Assembly[edit]

In 1998, Cohen ran for, and won, the New York State Assembly's 46th district in the special election to succeed outgoing assemblyman Jules Polonetsky, with the nomination of the Democratic, Independence and Liberal parties;[10] she won against Joseph A. Kovac, a nominee of the Republican and Conservative parties. She served as an assemblywoman until she returned to private law practice in 2006. Initially a member of the Standing Committee on Insurance, she served from 2005[11]-2006 as chairwoman of the Assembly Commission on Science and Technology[12] during her time in office.

Personal life[edit]

Cohen, who pursued a law degree from the New York Law School after her children grew up (gaining it in 1987), initially went into business as a lawyer for District Council 37. She is a 1964 graduate of Brooklyn College.[13] She is married to Steven, a former principal of P.S. X012 Lewis and Clark School, and has three children, Gene Robert (b. 1966), Deborah and Ronald (b. 1964). Gene was a director of Graphnet in Teaneck, N.J., and a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology;[14] Ronald is an assistant professor of chemistry, geology and geophysics at the University of California at Berkeley and graduated from Wesleyan University.[15]


  1. ^ U.S. Public Records Index Vol 1 & 2 (Provo, UT: Operations, Inc.), 2010.
  2. ^ "Distinguished CUNY Alumnae". CUNY. 
  3. ^ Gwen Ifill (August 21, 1991). "Liberal Coalition Pushes Goals in Council Races". New York Times. 
  4. ^ Steve Kornacki (Jun 10, 2011). "The woman Anthony Weiner smeared speaks out". Salon. 
  5. ^ Kevin Sack (September 12, 1991). "Campaign Trail; A Primary-Eve Dance: The Candidate Dodge". New York Times. 
  6. ^ "Topics of The Times; Smears and Fears". New York Times. September 15, 1991. 
  7. ^ Steve Kornacki (Jun 7, 2011). "The dirty trick that launched Anthony Weiner's career". Salon. 
  8. ^ Robert D. McFadden (October 27, 1992). "Dinkins Appointee Withdraws Over Allegation of Harrassment [sic]". New York Times. 
  9. ^ JONATHAN P. HICKS (August 28, 1997). "Brooklyn Councilman, a Political Fixture, Faces Fight in Primary". New York Times. 
  10. ^ "Cohen, Adele". Our Campaigns. 
  11. ^ Women And Technology In The 21st Century - A Report on the Assembly Roundtables on Women and Technology
  12. ^ 2005 Update from the Legislative Commission on Science and Technology
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Ms. Stempel Wed To G. R. Cohen". New York Times. September 15, 1991. 
  15. ^ "WEDDINGS; Kristie Boering, Ronald Cohen". New York Times. January 18, 1998. 
New York Assembly
Preceded by
Jules Polonetsky
New York State Assembly, 46th District
Succeeded by
Alec Brook-Krasny