Republicans control the State Senate but it’s a tenuous hold. Even though there are 32 Democratic State Senators and 31 Republicans, Republicans hold power thanks to nine Democrats, mostly in the Independent Democratic Conference, who support them. Republican Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-Long Island), a moderate in the Republican camp, has been able to work with Governor Andrew Cuomo and the nine Democrats who back the Republicans.
However, that moderation is rubbing some more conservative upstate Republicans the wrong way. Senator John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) is said to be arguing for a more confrontational approach. As one Republican described DeFrancisco: “He mentions the governor all the time: ‘Let’s take this guy on. He’s an SOB.’ When he speaks, people definitely listen and many agree with him.”
The divisions in the State Senate could make it more difficult for Cuomo to pass the progressive policies he needs on his record as he gears up to run for President. It could also ultimately backfire on the Republicans, though. If Senate Republicans appear too conservative for Democratic-leaning New York, they could lose enough seats that even the IDC can’t help them.
Get more news and explanation. Sign up for ShakingNews emails!