Election 2012

New York State Senate Republican primaries could aid Cuomo

New York State Senate Republican primaries could aid Cuomo

Could New York State Senate GOP primaries help Cuomo?

As it often is in New York State, it has taken nearly two weeks to determine the outcome of its latest primaries, which were held Sept. 13. With certification yet to be issued, it appears as though defeat has been dealt to one of the four Republican senators who broke party ranks to support Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the senate Democrats to legalize same-sex marriage.

However, in another contest, a moderate senator narrowly survived a challenge from the right.

But given the fractious outcome of both races, there is a distinct possibility Republicans could lose both seats in November and, with it, their slim majority in the state senate. Right now, Republicans control the senate by a slim 33-to-29 seat majority, with a 63rd seat being added via re-apportionment, while Democrats hold the governorship as well as a handsome majority in the state Assembly.

A swing of senate control from Republican to Democrat would thus give Democrats absolute power in the Empire State and a free hand to Cuomo. The big winner of such an outcome would be Cuomo, who is often mentioned as a presidential candidate in 2016 regardless of whether President Obama is re-elected.

In the upstate 43rd District, moderate State Sen. Roy McDonald went down by 113 votes to Saratoga County Clerk Kathleen Marchione, a strong conservative and opponent of same-sex marriage. In November, Marchione will once again carry the Conservative banner. McDonald will also be on the ballot as the nominee of the Independence Party (which has Row D on the state ballot), with openly gay Robin Andrews as the Democratic nominee.

In the 41st District (Hudson Valley), moderate State Sen. Steve Saland edged out conservative Neil Di Carlo by 107 votes out of just over 10,000 cast. But Di Carlo (who does not live in the district) won the Conservative Party line as a write-in candidate, and has vowed to continue his campaign in the fall. Terry Gipson is the nominee of the Democratic and Working Families Parties.

Pundits and pols are now turning their eyes to Cuomo, who has voiced admiration for McDonald and Saland for their same-sex marriage vote. The governor, who has previously enjoyed a working alliance with the Republican-led Senate, has also signaled he is not wed to backing Democrats in either of their districts and could well back McDonald and Saland—especially if both of them pledge to give Democrats that all important first vote for control of the senate.

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