NY Senate Control Up In Air

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Albany, NY – Control of the state Senate remains up for grabs as election results continued pouring in on Wednesday.

It could be unclear for days which party will hold the majority in the chamber as absentee ballots are counted and lawsuits are filed.

Democrats claimed they have retained their majority, while Republicans insisted they have regained control of the Senate. Multiple pivotal races remained too close to call as of Wednesday morning.

One party needs to win at least 32 seats to take the majority—and a 31-31 tie is possible, which could spark even further chaos in the Senate.

Business lobbies spent almost all of their time and resources in Senate races, showing new aggression in campaigning for or against a range of candidates in an effort to return the chamber to Republican control. It’s unclear whether they got what they wanted.

“We are deeply humbled New Yorkers gave us another opportunity to finish building the New York we can be, should be, and will be,” said Sen. John Sampson (D-Brooklyn), the Senate’s top Democrat.

“It appears we have won at least 32 seats,” countered Scott Reif, spokesman for the Senate Republican Campaign Committee. “We feel pretty confident. I like the position we’re in.”

Democrats took control of the Senate in the 2008 elections for the first time in almost 45 years. They entered the elections with a precarious 32-30 majority.

In local races, the results are final. All six senators in the region’s delegation won re-election, meaning that one Democrat and five Republicans will continue to cover the 11-county area.

Sen. Neil Breslin (D-Delmar), chairman of the Senate’s insurance committee, beat Republican businessman Robert Domenici, winning 54 percent of the vote, according to county board of elections tallies.

Sen. Roy McDonald (R-Saratoga) fended off Democratic challenger Joanne Yepsen, the Saratoga Springs supervisor. McDonald won 58 percent of the vote.

Sen. Hugh Farley (R-Niskayuna) defeated Democratic challenger Susan Savage, chairwoman of the Schenectady County legislature. Farley won 64 percent of the vote and is on his way to his 18th term in office.

Sen. Elizabeth Little (R-Queensbury) ran unopposed and thus won re-election.

Sen. Stephen Saland (R-Poughkeepsie) defeated Democrat Didi Barrett with 60 percent of the vote.

Sen. James Seward (R-Milford) ran unopposed and thus won re-election.

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(Source: Biz Journal)