Republicans Confident In Restoring State Senate Majority
Democrats may be celebrating their sweep of the state's top jobs, but Republicans are hoping to eke out a victory of their own and retake control of the State Senate. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.
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Election Day is over, but when it comes to control of the State Senate, things are still up in the air. Republicans, though, say they're confident three close races will shake out in their favor, arguing that voters are fed up with the way Democrats ran the state's upper house.
"The people of the State of New York have said 'No.' That's not the mandate we gave you. We're taking it away from you and giving it back to the responsible people and that's the Republicans," said State Senator Martin Golden of Brooklyn.
The final results aren't in yet and may not be for some time.
In Senate District 7, Republican Jack Martins is ahead of Democratic incumbent Craig Johnson 51 percent to 49 percent. In Senate District 37, Republican Bob Cohen is up against Democratic incumbent Suzi Oppenheimer 52 percent to 48 percent. And in Senate District 60, Democratic incumbent Antoine Thompson is basically tied with his Republican challenger, Mark Grisanti.
But it wasn't just Republicans giving incumbent Democrats a challenge. Democrat Tony Avella knocked out longtime Republican incumbent Frank Padavan in Queens.
"People know they want change. And sometimes they took it out on the incumbent. In my case, it was beneficial," Avella said.
Democrats argue it's too soon for anyone to declare victory in the close races.
"We are committed to making sure every vote is counted because that is fundamental," said State Senator Liz Kruger of Manhattan.
There is, of course, a possibility that when the votes are tallied the chamber will be locked in a tie with 31 Democrats and 31 Republicans. If that's the case, Lieutenant Governor-Elect Robert Duffy could act as a tiebreaker.
"It is something that, if that were to happen, I would relish that opportunity. But I'm not sure if it will. But it's certainly not something that is anything but a plus for this job," Duffy said.
In the case of a split, you can expect a power sharing agreement.
"The place can work, but you can't expect much. And nor should you. In other words, if the public has said it's 30-30 or tied, why should there be any great initiatives of one party prevail. They didn't win enough," said Hofstra Law School/Brennan Center Professor Eric Lane.
Before anyone knows for sure what will happen, the votes in those races have to be recounted and absentee ballots tallied.