Next Up: Maltese?

There’s a theory that no legislator wants to be the last one to hold together a fading majority. As a result, there’s been a fair amount of speculation among reporters and political insiders about whether there might not be another state Senate Republican preparing to follow Michael Balboni’s lead by bolting the GOP conference to go work in some capacity for the Spitzer administration.

One state Democratic official told me that despite a report that he had already reject an overture, Serph Maltese was still “target number one” of the Spitzer administration’s recruitment efforts, partly because of his close re-election this year — meaning that his seat is eminently winnable for Democrats — and because of his record of working with local Democrats around his district.

It’s an intriguing notion, although Maltese has so far done nothing to indicate that he intends to make an early exit.

At a swearing ceremony last night at Christ the King High School, according to one attendee, Maltese thanked the roughly 250 guests for their help and jokingly noted that he really had needed each and every one of them to win this year. Maltese also said, meaningfully, that he loves being a state senator and wants to keep his seat for at least few more years.

Spitzer spokesperson Christine Anderson declined to comment.

– Azi Paybarah