Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s re-election is close to a sure thing — but which party he’ll have to work with in the State Senate is an open question, and one the governor doesn’t expect an answer to tonight.
“If you have close races today in the Senate, I could see it not playing out for several days, and I would expect that result, rather than expect the opposite,” Mr. Cuomo told reporters today after voting in Mount Kisco.
Which party will win a majority of seats in a state legislature is often up in the air, but in New York the political calculus is even more complicated, thanks to the Independent Democratic Conference. That breakaway group has been governing the Senate for two years with Republicans; IDC Co-Leader Jeffrey Klein has now pledged to reunite with the mainline Democrats, but only if they can hang on to enough seats to create a majority when added to the IDC’s five members.
The promise of an IDC-Democratic coalition came out of the deal brokered to secure Mr. Cuomo the nod of the Working Families Party. Mr. Cuomo, who has often praised the work of the Republican-IDC led Senate, also agreed to campaign for Democratic State Senate candidates — something he has not exactly done enthusiastically.
If Republicans can add net two seats tonight, they’ll have their own majority — and the IDC’s reunion with the Democrats may never come to pass.
“I don’t think you’re going to have clarity tonight on the State Senate race. I think you will have several close Senate races that will take a number of days,” Mr. Cuomo said. “If that’s the case, you’ll then have a healthy dose of political jockeying back and forth, and rumors, etc., so I don’t know that it plays out tonight.”
Would he play a role in that political jockeying?
“I try to stay away from the legislature,” Mr. Cuomo said.