Duane Staying With Democrats ‘As of Now,’ an Aide Says

ALBANY—Democratic State Senator Tom Duane has not "jumped ship," his counsel insisted.

Mark Furnish told me just now in a Capitol hallway that while Duane remains in his hotel and has been there, hunkered down, since a coup in his chamber Monday, he remains a loyal member of the Democratic conference.

Earlier, I had heard that he was considering an offer made by Republicans to support their bid in control of the chamber if they brought a same-sex marriage bill to a vote. His spokesman said nothing at the time; Furnish now denies this.

"He hasn't spoken to any Republicans. He has spoken to his Democratic colleagues today," Furnish said, insisting Duane also hasn't spoken to two renegade state senators–Pedro Espada Jr. and Hiram Monserrate–or to billionaire Tom Golisano. Furnish said that Duane “bumped into” Golisano’s aide Steve Pigeon at a hotel this morning, but that they just “made small-talk.”

I asked if he has any plans to join Espada Jr. as he tries to create a caucus of "reform Democrats."

"As of right now, no," Furnish said. Duane Staying With Democrats ‘As of Now,’ an Aide Says