Skelos Refuses to Endorse Espada Publicly

ALBANY—Emerging from closed door negotiations, State Senator Pedro Espada Jr. did not get an endorsement by Republican Leader Dean Skelos.

Espada proclaimed to reporters: "I just want to address the many questions you have posed to my office this morning regarding some scurrilous rumors about their being an agreement that Pedro Espada would step down. Let's be clear about where this coalition stands. The coalition is firm, it's united. We are discussing the details of an operating agreement based on the election that took place on June 8."

Skelos was asked if he agreed with that statement. He replied: "32-30 was the vote on June 8, and as I always say to Tom Precious, Bill Stachowski's still not finance chairman."

In a walk and talk with reporters as he went back to his office, Espada alleged the following:

Attacks against him have been racist because they contain the phrase "Bronx guy."

— Democrats apologized for those attacks.

— One of the Democrats in the room will soon be joining the coalition. Those members present were: Malcolm Smith, John Sampson, Martin Malave Dilan, Hiram Monserrate, Darrel Aubertine, Jeff Klein and Carl Kruger.

— Espada will not use his supposed power to cast two votes to establish a quorum because discussion are ongoing.

— Discussions are ongoing.

— He was going to see his wife, which is "always a good thing," before he went to the Senate floor.

UPDATE: Republicans put out a statement from Skelos at 3:40 p.m. saying "the members of the Senate Republican conference stand solidly behind Senator Espada as temporary president and we look forward to building our reform coalition together."

Skelos Refuses to Endorse Espada Publicly