State Senate Democrats will be a meeting at 250 Broadway this afternoon, where they will attempt to consummate a deal that will bring defector Hiram Monserrate back across the aisle in support of a new conference leader.
Whatever arrangement has been agreed upon so far is being described as “very fluid,” Democratic sources kept repeating. This would bring about a 31-31 partisan split in the chamber, which has been crippled by a leadership struggle since Monday.
In a brief telephone interview, Senator John Sampson of Brooklyn—whose name has been floated as a possible replacement for embattled leader Malcolm Smith—denied he was taking the leadership post.
Sampson said, “We are having a meeting with members to decide how we are going to proceed.”
“We are going to get together to chart our strategy to take back—not even take back—how we are going to maintain what we have and most of all, change the course of what is going on,” he said. “We need to look one another in the eye and look at our conscience and realize we are doing the people of the State of New York a disservice.”
When asked if he would advocate keeping Smith as leader, even at the risk of losing some conference members and forcing Democrats into the minority, Sampson said, “We are not going back to the minority. We are in the majority. We are going to maintain the majority. We’re going to take care of family business that needs to be taken care of.”
Monserrate told the Daily News’ Juan Gonzalez that he looks forward to a “swift resolution of the conflict.”