Sen. Pedro Espada, the dissident Democrat at the center of the crisis in Albany, has turned his back on his Republican coalition — apparently in a bid to become Senate majority leader on the Dem’s side of the aisle, published reports said today.
The Democrats will meet this afternoon to discuss the alleged deal with the Bronx senator, the Daily News reported.
His return to the Democratic fold would break the 31-31 stalemate that has held the state hostage for a month now and will return majority control of the Senate to the Democrats.
“I’m going to tell (Republican leader) Sen.Dean Skelos that I have a handshake agreement with (Democratic leader) Sen. John Sampson to become the majority leader,” Espada said, the New York Post reported.
Espada and Sen. Hiram Monserrate’s (D-Queens) defection on June 8 triggered the current leadership fight in Albany and has led to a month-long standoff in which legislation has expired, city and county budgets have been left in limbo and the state’s governor has taken to ordering the chamber into special sessions.
On Wednesay, Paterson appointed a lieutenant governor, former MTA chief Richard Ravitch, to try and break the stalemate. That move has already become locked in legal challenge.
(Source: NBC New York)