ALBANY – Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown is out as the state Democratic Party’s chairman and will be replaced by the head of the Nassau County Democratic Party, according to a source close to the party.
The state party chairman is handpicked by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, the state’s top party official.
Monday, he will announce his selection of Jay Jacobs, who served as party leader in the early years of the Cuomo administration.
“These are really consequential times and I believe it’s incumbent upon all of us in the Democratic Party to make sure we are as strong and united as ever before. We’re going to be organized. The governor wants a vibrant, active state party to take on the battles coming up with the elections ahead of us,’’ Jacobs said in an interview.
Jacobs and a source close to the party confirmed the change in party chairmanship. The decision by Cuomo was first reported by the New York Daily News.
Cuomo made it official shortly after 9 Monday morning, saying of Jacobs that he is “excited to work with him to further strengthen our party and elect even more Democrats up and down the ballot.’’
Cuomo thanked Brown “for his great leadership in securing key districts for our party last year” and that he looks forward to working with Brown “to deliver for New Yorkers across the state.’’ Cuomo did not give a specific reason for why he replaced Brown.
A spokesman for Brown did not immediately comment on the matter.
Jacobs was state Democratic chairman from 2009 through the middle of 2012, serving first under former Gov. David Paterson and then for part of Cuomo’s first term in office.
Jacobs takes over at a time when the party just won control of the State Senate, and it already dominates the State Assembly, has all four statewide state government posts as well as both U.S. Senate seats.
“Now, it’s down ballot. We’ve shown in Nassau County the importance of electing Democrats. The truth is we need to do that upstate as well and increase our wins in some of these suburban counties,’’ Jacobs said.
“Also, we’re going to have a presidential year in 2020 that I think will be by far the most important in recent history. This Democratic Party, in one of the strongest Democratic states, needs to be on its game to ensure a Democrat wins in 2020 and Donald Trump is defeated,’’ Jacobs added.