ALBANY—State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. insists he will remain a part of the Democratic conference, despite David Paterson's call for a vote tomorrow on a same-sex marriage bill on Wednesday.
Speculation raced through the chamber when Diaz went to the office of Senator Dean Skelos, a Republican, after the announcement.
"I just went there to eat a sandwich. Pedro Espada and Senator Skelos invited me to eat a sandwich. Tuna fish sandwich," Diaz Sr. explained.
"Tomorrow is tomorrow, today is today. We have to wait until tomorrow."
A Democratic source said Diaz was assured by the conference leadership that even though the bill was put forward by Paterson, it will not be acted upon. He was satisfied.
Diaz denied this, saying "Nobody has told me anything." While he did not say so in as many words, Diaz indicated he would remain within the Democratic conference.
Diaz had planned to meet Thursday with Archbishop Timothy Dolan in New York. Were he to flip and side with the Republicans, their partisan coalition would have 32 votes, settling a leadership struggle at has crippled the chamber.
Diaz would not comment on his plans.
"I will do the duty of senator–that includes come to Albany, meeting with dignitaries, meeting with the bishop, who is the leader of 2.5 million Catholics in the city and the state, so that is part of my duty."