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Democrats Win Two Senate Seats in New York – Have Majority BUT!

Dear Commons Community,

There were two special elections in New York yesterday for state senate seats and wins by Democrats have resulted in their have a 32-31 majority.  However, Simcha Felder, a Democrat from Brooklyn has decided to continue to caucus with Republicans.  As reported by the New York Times:

“In a special election in New York that was thought to hold the key to Democrats’ capturing the State Senate, Shelley B. Mayer, the Democratic candidate, sailed to victory in Westchester County on Tuesday, buoyed by a large turnout of progressive voters angered by the Trump presidency.

Ms. Mayer, a state assemblywoman from Yonkers, defeated her Republican challenger, Julie Killian, a deputy mayor of Rye, in the 37th District, which covers much of the eastern portion of the county. With 78 percent of districts counted, Ms. Mayer led Ms. Killian, 58 percent to 42 percent.

Her victory — coupled with another Democratic win in a special election in the 32nd Senate District in the Bronx — gave the Democrats a theoretical one-vote edge over the Republicans in the Senate, 32 to 31.

But theory gave way earlier on Tuesday to Simcha Felder, a Democrat of Brooklyn who has caucused with Republicans.

Mr. Felder announced that he had decided to continue his relationship with Republicans, thus allowing the party to retain its Senate majority by one vote.

Both Democrats and Republicans had spent millions of dollars on the Westchester contest, airing hostile television ads, in an effort to win the seat, which was vacated in January by George Latimer, who won his bid for county executive. Democrats outnumber Republicans two to one in the county, but Ms. Killian mounted an energetic campaign.

The importance of the race was underscored by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s involvement in the race: He stumped for Ms. Mayer in Mamaroneck on Sunday morning to help get out the vote, and was at her election watch party on Tuesday night.

“All of us are part of something bigger, a movement for change, a blue wave rising in special election after special election,” Ms. Mayer said in a statement released after she declared victory. “This race was about finally bringing a Democratic majority to the State Senate so that New York can once again be a progressive leader.”

Progressive activists pledged to work even harder to unseat Republicans in the Senate this fall to give Democrats an unassailable edge.”

The Democrats will have to wait until November.

Tony

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