Errol Cockfield, who was born in Guyana and also lived in Trinidad before emigrating to the US at age 10, will run communications for Democrats in the New York State Senate, beginning early September.
Senator John Sampson, the Democrat Majority Conference Leader, who also has Guyanese heritage, has recruited the 36 year-old Cockfield as Communications Director of the Senate Democratic Majority.
Cockfield holds a Bachelor’s in English with a minor in Journalism from SUNY Stony Brook and went on to head Newsday’s Albany Bureau and worked as a staff writer at the Los Angeles Times.
In recent years he served as chief spokesperson and advisor for Governor David Paterson and his predecessor, Eliot Spitzer during the largest fiscal downturn in state history. During this two-year assignment, he provided steady crisis management leadership during the historic transition from Spitzer to Paterson.
“After working for many leaders in government it gives me a unique sense of pride to work for someone who shares my heritage,” Cockfield told The New York Amsterdam News this week. “I’m very humbled and excited that Senator Sampson saw fit to tap me for this important role. Under the Senator’s leadership, Democrats have accomplished important victories, including reforms that allowed New York to get $700 million in federal education funding announced this week,” he added.
In his new role, Cockfield will not only handle the communications needs of Senator Sampson, but will also serve the other members of the Democratic majority in Albany.
In a relatively short but action-packed career, Cockfield has also served as press secretary at the Empire State Development Corporation. He joins Senator Sampson from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation where he currently works as Vice President for Communications and Community Affairs.
Senator Sampson was elected to the New York State Senate in 1996. He represents the 19th Senatorial District which encompasses Canarsie, East Flatbush, Parts of Brownsville, Crown Heights, East New York, portions of Old Mill Basin, Spring Creek Towers, and parts of Midwood and Kensington in Brooklyn. Senator Sampson was born in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, to American and Guyanese parents.