GOP retains management of NY Senate regardless of Democrat victories

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Voters in NY head to the polls on Tuesday for a special election to fill vacant seats in the state senate and assembly.

Democrats in the state also saw a small victory in the Senate, winning two open seats to gain the majority of the Senate, but not control due to a Democratic state senator who caucuses with the GOP.

Democrats over-performed in other NY races Tuesday, but they had focused first on the 37th State Senate District, which was vacated after the incumbent was elected as Westchester County executive.

Republicans now hold 31 of the senate's 63 seats, but maintain control of the chamber through an alliance with a democratic senator from Brooklyn. However since Democrats received each of Tuesday's races, they now have a one-seat numeric majority. These were the first state elections in NY since actress and activist Cynthia Nixon announced a primary challenge to Democratic Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, and the first since Cuomo brokered the end of the Independent Democratic Conference, a breakaway group that caucused with Republicans to give them a large Senate majority.

"Political gamesmanship must not be allowed to jeopardize the leadership, committee structure and staff of the New York State Senate and push this institution into turmoil", Felder said.

"Because a one-party rule, one voice in any governmental body, local, state or federal, isn't good for a representative democracy", Sen.

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"We're thrilled with Senator Felder's determination to proceed to caucus with our majority", Senate GOP spokesman Scott Reif stated.

The most closely contested race in the special election Tuesday is in Westchester County.

In Westchester County, Democratic Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer confronted Republican Julie Killian, a former native official.

Meanwhile, Luis Sepulveda trounced Patrick Delices and Pamela Stewart-Martinez with almost 90 percent of the votes in the heavily Democratic Bronx.

Another breakaway group of Democrats, the eight-member Independent Democratic Conference, also supported the Senate's Republican leadership but returned to the mainline Democrats this year under pressure from Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

"The voters are sick and exhausted of Democrats that empower Trump Republicans", Senate Democratic spokesman Mike Murphy said in response to Felder staying with the GOP. Cuomo has been pressured by his Democratic primary opponent, activist-actress Cynthia Nixon, and the Working Families Party that backs her to unify Democrats into a Senate majority. "This conversation will continue in the morning".

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