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Cuomo says he's staying out of Senate battles

By Tom Precious

ALBANY – Despite widespread belief by Democrats and Republicans that he might inject himself into the internal partisan wrangling in the State Senate, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said today he has “no intention’’ in getting involved in the power struggle.

Democrats, in unofficial results, appear to have won enough seats to regain control of the State Senate. There are two, and possibly three, seats still int play, though, and results may not be known for weeks as paper ballots are recounted.

The situation is made murky because there are four Democrats who two years ago broke away from the main Democratic conference to form their own caucus, and both Democrats and Republicans are already angling to try to woo them to join with them. Republicans say they are open to forming a coalition-type Senate with the help of the four Democrats, who are keeping their plans secret for now.

“It’s more complicated than it used to be,’’ Cuomo said today about the Senate. Instead of just Democratic and Republican conferences, “Now it’s more of a coalition because (there are) three groups instead of just two’’ because of the existence of the four-member Independent Democratic Conference.

Cuomo said he believes the Senate Democrats are aware they lost control of the Senate two years ago “because of the dysfunction’’ that characterized their two-year reign that began after the 2008 elections. “I think they learned that lesson the hard way,’’ Cuomo said of the Senate Democrats.

Senate Democrats, who have had cool relations over the last two years because of Cuomo’s coziness with the Senate GOP, privately say they think Cuomo eventually will get involved behind the scenes to convince the four renegade Democrats to join with the main Democratic conference to put his party in control of the Senate.

But one Senate Democrat this morning said no one should assume anything about the governor.

“I never presume what the governor decides is or isn’t his role,’’ said Sen. Liz Krueger, a Manhattan Democrat. But she said Democratic control of the Senate “will help him ensure’’ some of his policy objectives are realized in the coming session.

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About Politics Now

Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

rmccarthy@buffnews.com


Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

tprecious@buffnews.com


Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri | jterreri@buffnews.com


Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski | jzremski@buffnews.com

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