Island Vote: Balance of power in NY Senate at stake

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Democrats and Republicans will be battling on Election Day for the balance of power in the state Senate.

Republican Majority Leader John Flanagan of East Northport says if New Yorkers choose Democrats over GOP state Senate candidates, it will be akin to crowning Gov. Andrew Cuomo king.

“Having a monarchy, which the governor thinks he owns, and having supplicants in the form of Assembly Democrats and Senate Democrats – I don't think that works for Long Island,” says Flanagan.

For years, Republicans have successfully argued that GOP control of the state Senate promotes regional balance in Albany – a way to ensure that Long Islanders aren't forced to foot the bill for New York City interests.

“This is going to be an issue that Republicans push very hard,” says political analyst Larry Levy. “They're going to play the New York City card and they're going to say ‘if you vote for the Democrats, it’s a vote for City Hall.’”

The Republican majority right now is tenuous, at best. Currently, there are actually 32 Democrats in the state Senate, and just 31 Republicans. However, Brooklyn Democrat Simcha Felder crossed the aisle and caucuses with the GOP, effectively allowing Republicans to maintain control.

Nassau Democratic Committee Chairman Jay Jacobs says at least 10 Republican incumbents are vulnerable statewide. Jacobs says voters should ask themselves, "Can we do any worse?"

“We've got the best opportunity we've ever had,” Jacobs told News 12. “Ask any taxpayer on Long Island, under Flanagan and the Republicans, have you been doing that well? Really? I mean, your taxes haven't been going up?”

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