Elected officials gathered in Harlem in defense of State Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins Monday in an effort to make her leader of the State Senate.

There is also a push to make Stewart-Cousins the first Black female majority leader in the State Senate. She is currently the first woman Senate minority leader. Supporters believe that her race is playing a role in why she hasn’t secured the majority leader spot. She represents New York’s 35th State Senate district, which includes New York City suburbs Yonkers, White Plains and New Rochelle.

Reports also indicate that Stewart-Cousins and Governor Andrew Cuomo had an exchange in which Cuomo suggested that Sen. Jeff Klein, who is white and whose area covers the Bronx and parts of Westchester, had a better grasp of suburban issues. In response she said, “You look at me, Mr. Governor, but you don’t see me. You see my Black skin and a woman, but you don’t realize I’m a suburban legislator.”

Speaking this week on “The Brian Lehrer Show” on WNYC radio, Stewart-Cousins said racial controversy she’s facing came at the same time as the deadly incident in Charlottesville, Va., where white supremacists clashed with counter-protesters.

“If anyone had a question about what the KKK represented, they were answered quite fully by what they saw in Charlottesville,” she said. “The fact that there is context to this conversation is important.”

Stewart-Cousins added that she has yet to receive an apology from Cuomo.

The controversy surrounding Stewart-Cousins spawned a Facebook post by political donor Daniel Loeb, who said Stewart-Cousins has done “more damage to people of color than anyone who has ever donned a hood.”

Eight of the 32 members of the Democratic Party in the State Senate call themselves Independents, keeping the Dems from having the majority.

Reports indicate the post was in response to her position on supporting public schools over charter schools.

Loeb is a billionaire hedge fund manager. He is also the chairman of Success Academy Charter Schools that receive public funding. Loeb later apologized for his comments.

“This board that has him as the chairman has to really look at the message that he is sending as he says he is advancing the education of Black and Brown children principally,” Stewart-Cousins said.

“Democrats should work with Democrats,” she said. “Democrats should act as Democrats. Democrats should be able to do progressive Democratic things.”

The rally was held at the Harriet Tubman statue and led by newly elected State Sen. Brian Benjamin. Several Democratic heavy hitters were in attendance, including former Congressman Charlie Rangel, Public Advocate Letitia James, City Comptroller Scott Stringer, City Council Member Bill Perkins and State Sen. Hakeem Jeffries.

Several union representatives were also there, along with NAACP State Conference President Hazel Dukes and Kirsten Foy of the National Action Network.

Foy said that in response to Loeb’s statements, NAN plans to hold demonstrations at Success Academy locations until he steps down as chair.