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Skelos backed as leader for another term by GOP colleagues

By Tom Precious

ALBANY -- Senate Republicans may not have done so well with voters in November, but the deal hatched last week by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos to still keep Republicans at least in partial control of the chamber was more than enough to keep the Long Island lawmaker as head of the GOP conference.

In Albany for a couple hours of closed-door talks and some lunch, Senate Republicans today backed Skelos as their leader for the two-year session beginning in January. [Skelos -- every two weeks -- will be alternating the title of Temporary President of Senate with Sen. Jeff Klein, the Bronx Democrat who brought four other Democrats along into a coalition deal to help keep the GOP at least in partial control of the Senate; Skelos could not say, when asked by a reporter today, whether he or Klein will start off with the title on January 1.]

Here is the victory statement this evening from Skelos:

"I am honored that the members of our Senate Republican Conference have voted unanimously today to reelect me as their leader. I appreciate their support and confidence, and look forward to being a strong voice for their priorities.

By partnering with Governor Cuomo and the Independent Democratic Conference, Senate Republicans have delivered the bipartisan results New Yorkers need and deserve, including two early budgets that reduced spending, enactment of a two property tax cap, middle-class income tax relief and an end to Albany dysfunction. The men and women of our conference are excited for the opportunity to be part of this new Senate Majority coalition, a unique partnership of Democrats and Republicans that will protect and build on the historic progress we’ve made over the last two years.

New Yorkers have made it very clear that they don’t care about Republican solutions or Democratic solutions, they just want results. Senate Republicans are committed to working with the Governor, Senator Klein, Speaker Silver and all of the members of the Legislature in the months and years ahead to improve the quality-of-life for all New Yorkers."

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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.

[email protected]


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.

[email protected]


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 | [email protected]


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 | [email protected]

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