James Sanders Jr.

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James Sanders Jr.
Member of the New York State Senate
from the 10th district
Assumed office
January 1, 2013
Preceded by Shirley Huntley
Member of the New York City Council from the 31st district
In office
January 1, 2002 – 2013
Preceded by Juanita Watkins
Succeeded by Donovan Richards
Personal details
Born James Sanders Jr.
1957 (age 60–61)
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Andrea Stevenson-Sanders[1]
Residence New York City
Alma mater Brooklyn College

James Sanders Jr. (born 1957) is a member of the New York State Senate, serving since January 2013. He represents the 10th Senatorial District, which includes the Queens neighborhoods of Richmond Hill, South Ozone Park, Jamaica, Rochdale Village, Rosedale and parts of Far Rockaway.

Early life[edit]

Sanders was born at the Hammel Houses in Far Rockaway. He attended public schools throughout the Rockaways then attended Brooklyn College. As a former Marine, he was one of the few City Council members who had served in the armed forces.[2]


Sanders won his seat in an underdog win against powerful candidates James Blake and Charlotte Jefferson. Blake had the support of incumbent councilwoman Juanita Watkins. In an upset Sanders managed to win election for the 31st Council Seat.[3]

In 2002, Sanders was voted the first African-American to sit as Chair of the Economic Development Committee'.[4]

In early 2007, Sanders endorsed then-Senator Barack Obama for President and traveled to Pennsylvania, Ohio, and South Carolina to campaign for him. He became an Obama delegate and represented his district at the Democratic National Convention in Denver.[4]

In July 2009, Sanders was reported to have shown up for only 61% of City Council meetings for fiscal year 2009, the second-fewest on the list.[5] However, he has attributed this to the near fatal car crash that he had in the fall of 2008 which also injured his staffers, Donovan Richards and Mike Duvall.[5][6]

In 2009, he was challenged for reelection from candidates Michael Duncan, Jacques Leandre, and Frederick Lewis.[7] He was re-elected with 40% of the vote, with his next leading opponent, Jacques Leandre, receiving 19%.[8]

He ran for the New York State Senate and won, his council seat is now held by his former District Manager Donovan Richards.

In 2015, Sanders endorsed Senator Bernie Sanders for President of the United States in the 2016 Democratic primaries and the 2016 general election.[9]

Personal life[edit]

In 2005, he married his former chief of staff.[citation needed] He has two children from a previous marriage.[2]


  1. ^ "Andrea Stevenson-Sanders". Daily News. New York. 
  2. ^ a b Wisloski, Jess (2007-11-13). "10 questions for Queens City Councilman James Sanders Jr". Daily News. Retrieved 2009-07-28. 
  3. ^ "In Southeast, 7 Vie For Watkins Seat". Daily News. New York. 2001-09-06. [permanent dead link]
  4. ^ a b "James Sanders Jr". Retrieved 2009-07-28. 
  5. ^ a b Goldenberg, Sally (2009-07-20). "AWOL At City Hall: Council Truants Are Rarely There". New York Post. p. 8. Retrieved 2009-07-28. 
  6. ^ Paybarah, Azi (2008-11-18). "Sanders Released From Intensive Care". PolitickerNY. p. 1. Retrieved 2009-07-30. [permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "City Council District 31". Archived from the original on July 8, 2011. Retrieved 2009-08-15. . boropolitics.com
  8. ^ NY1 Online: 2009 New York City Primary Returns. NY1.com. Retrieved on 2012-05-15.
  9. ^ "KING: Senators in Harlem, Queens support Sanders — EXCLUSIVE". Retrieved 31 March 2017. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Juanita Watkins
New York City Council, 31st District
Succeeded by
Donovan Richards
New York State Senate
Preceded by
Shirley Huntley
New York State Senate, 10th District