NY balance of power could shift after Dems win special elections

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NEW YORK -

A pair of Democrats won their special elections in Westchester and the Bronx Tuesday, which could begin to shift control of the state Senate away from Republicans.

There are now 32 Democrats and 31 Republicans in the state Senate. The Republicans still remain in control thanks to a breakaway Democrat from Brooklyn who caucuses with the GOP, but it’s not clear how long that arrangement will last.

Michael Dawidziak, a political consultant who primarily works with Republicans, says if the Democrats ultimately gain control of the Senate, Assembly and the governor’s mansion – Long Island will lose its political clout in Albany. He says Long Island would miss out on millions in school aid and other state funding as well.

“Traditionally, it’s only been…Republican senators from Long Island who have looked out for Long Island's interest in Albany. And should the Republicans lose the majority, that will be gone,” says Dawidziak.

Democratic state Sen. John Brooks, of Seaford, says that's simply not the case.

"If we take control, we are truly going to take care of the problems associated with the federal tax laws," says Brooks.

Many people who spoke to News 12 say regardless of which party ultimately takes control in Albany, they want to make sure that their interests are well-represented.

News 12 reached out to state Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan's office for comment but has not heard back.

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