Republicans take control of State Senate
by Andrew Shilling and Jess Berry
Nov 05, 2014 | 4121 views | 0 0 comments | 131 131 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Governor Andrew Cuomo won a second term, defeating GOP challenger Rob Astorino. (Photo: Michael O'Kane)
Governor Andrew Cuomo won a second term, defeating GOP challenger Rob Astorino. (Photo: Michael O'Kane)
It was a definitive win for United States Senate Republicans last night, capturing seven seats from Democrats and taking unprecedented control of the majority in Washington, and the same was true for the New York State Senate.

Republicans took three seat previously held by Democrats and held all but one GOP seat. That gives the Republicans 32 of the State Senate's 63 seats. The GOP entered Election Day with only 29 seats, but thanks to an agreement with five breakaway state senators known as the Independent Democratic Conference and an agreement with Brooklyn State Senator Simcha Felder, enjoyed a fragile leadership of the body.

IDC leader State Senator Jeff Klein promised to dissolve the group, but the GOP is expected to maintain its cozy relationship with Felder, who did not face a challenger Tuesday night.

Brooklyn voters, in most cases, came to the polls in favor of more progressive leadership in the 2014 midterm elections last night. Martin Dilan, John Sampson, Jesse Hamilton and Kevin Parker all cruised to big wins in their State Senate races.

The lone exception was longtime GOP incumbent Martin Golden from south Brooklyn, who nabbed nearly 70 percent of the vote in a challenge from Democrat James Kemmerer.

The Assembly saw much of the same as the Senate, with all of the seats going to Democrats.

Joe Lentol of North Brooklyn has the longest tenure of any Brooklyn legislator in Albany. He has been in office for 42 years, and essentially without needing to launch a campaign, handily took the election on Tuesday night.

In District 52, Joan Millman left an open seat, which Jo Anne Simon and Peter Sikora fought over in the Democratic primary. While Simon won the primary, she met Sikora again on Tuesday, as he ran on the Working Families Party line. He still could not win enough votes to oust Millman’s good friend, and Simon handily won the district.

And Charles Barron is back in office. He won the Assembly seat that was once held by his wife, current Councilwoman Inez Barron, who took that seat from her husband, who was forced out of the City Council due to term limits.

In Congress, representatives Nydia Velazquez, Hakeem Jeffries and Yvette Clarke all easily held onto their seats, each receiving 90 percent of the vote.

Despite controversy and an ongoing investigation into why Governor Andrew Cuomo shuttered his anti-corruption commission earlier this year, voters re-elected the Democratic incumbent, but not necessarily by a resounding margin. Cuomo won with 54 percent of the vote to Republican Rob Astorino's 40 percent. Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins took home roughly 5 percent of the vote.

Democratic Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was also reelected to a second term, as was Democratic State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

As for the ballot measures, voters were in favor of creating an independent redistricting commission free from legislative input by a vote of 57 to 42 percent. Voters also approved a bond measure to fund better technology in the state's schools.
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