ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — While New York Senate Democrats had hoped to gain a “supermajority,” or veto-proof majority with two-thirds of the seats in the chamber, it appears it’s the Republicans who will be gaining some seats.
“Those dreams have been dashed — they’ve been destroyed — and we, as a Republican Party, in the Senate certainly live to have stronger days ahead,” said NY GOP Chair Nick Langworthy about efforts by Senate Democrats to gain a supermajority.
While absentee ballots still need to be counted and results haven’t been finalized, based on the current numbers, Republicans who currently hold 20 out of the 63 Senate seats are confident they’re picking up more, especially on Long Island and the Hudson Valley. They say bail reform was a key issue.
“We are going to count the votes, we are prepared to count the votes, we believe firmly that when all these votes are counted, we will be coming back with significantly more members than we had last year, and more members than certainly a lot of folks across the state thought we would have,” said Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt.
Democrats seem to have leads in some of the Buffalo and Rochester area Senate races where Republicans retired and there was no incumbency advantage.
In a statement, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said:
“Despite a difficult night for many Democratic candidates throughout the state and nation, the Senate Democratic Conference comfortably retained our majority and will be welcoming a historic group of new upstate Democrats to the Senate. With the record high number of outstanding absentee ballots that are overwhelmingly Democratic, we will add even more victories to our majority as the vote counts continue.”
“I think, really when you get into the areas of outside of the major cities, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, New York are very strong democratic areas. But, when you get out into beyond the suburbs into the rural areas, I think the Republicans exhibited a tremendous amount of strength this time. And the Democrats have to work harder to not only represent the interests of New York City but represent in a very positive way, everyone,” said Democrat Senator Neil Breslin.
More than 2.5 million New Yorkers requested absentee ballots for this election, and as of Tuesday, more than 1.2 million of those have been returned.