Blue Wave Rolls Over New York, Wiping out State Senate Majority; Democrats Defeat Three GOP Members in House

New York State turned a deeper shade of blue on Election Day as Democrats, which needed one seat to take over the New York State Senate won eight seats.   They now will have a majority of 40 members with Republicans having only 23.   About one fourth of the Senate members will be new after the election.   It will be very difficult for Republicans to regain control of the Senate anytime soon.

Assembly Democrats continue to hold a dominant majority.  Governor Cuomo and Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli were re-elected easily along with the new Attorney General, Democrat Latitia James.   Senator Kirsten Gillibrand won 66% in her re-election bid and she already said she is considering running for President in 2020.

Victories for the Democrats mean that Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins of Westchester will become the new Senate Majority Leader, the first woman and African American in that position.   Outgoing Majority leader John Flanagan  may face competition for the position of Minority Leader.  The Republicans had nine members in the Senate from Long Island but will have only three now so upstaters may want one of their own to lead the GOP.

Many familiar faces who have been in Albany for decades will be gone including Senators Kemp Hannon, Martin Golden and Carl Marcellino who were all defeated.  Others including Jeff Klein, Tony Avella, David Valesky, Marisol Alcantara and Jose Peralta, who were members of the Independent Democratic Caucus were defeated in September primaries after a rebellion by progressive Democrats.   Others who retired and not coming back are John DeFrancisco, John Bonacic, Bill Larkin and Kathy Marchione.  The new Senate Democratic Majority will be much more diverse than the Republicans who ran the chamber.

Hannon had chaired the Health Committee for many years and now there will be a new Democratic chair.   Senator Gustavo Rivera has been the ranking member of that committee but it is unclear if he will become Chairman of the committee.   Others with more seniority may want that high profile position.  Senator Sue Serino who has been chair of the Aging Committee was re-elected but will no longer be chair.  Usually, a Senator without a lot of seniority becomes chair.  It would be ironic if new Senator Alessandra Biaggi, who defeated Jeff Klein becomes Aging Chair.  Her grandfather, Congressman Mario Biaggi, was the legendary first Chair of the Aging Committee in the US House of Representatives forty years ago.

Meanwhile, Democrats won three seats in Congress in New York, leaving Republicans with only six of the state’s 27 seats.    Democrat Antonio Delgado defeated John Faso in a seat in the Mohawk and Hudson Valleys.  Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi ousted Claudia Tenney in central New York and Max Rose defeated Daniel Donovan on Staten Island, meaning there will no longer be any Republicans from New York City in the House of Representatives  Indicted Congressman Chris Collins was re-elected in western New York.  Other remaining Republicans are Peter King and Lee Zeldin on Long Island and Elise Stefanik from northern New York, John Katko from central New York and Thomas Reed of the Southern Tier.

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I have been a senior advocate for most of my career. I was Executive Director of the New York StateWide Senior Action Council and the New York State Alliance for Retired Americans. In 2007-2010 I was the Director of the New York State Office for the Aging

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