ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — Over a month ago, there was talk that the State Senate could lose the supermajority in the 63-member chamber, but that’s no longer the case. The results for Senate District 50 are officially in and incumbent John Mannion has won, with just ten votes to spare.
Democratic Senator John Mannion’s win against Republican opponent Rebecca Shiroff brings the Democratic tally to 42 members in the State Senate. Exactly how close was the race? “Well it was close enough that it went to the hand recount. So you know, the votes were counted early votes, election day votes, absentee votes, emergency ballots and then it was under half of a percent of the difference so therefore it automatically go to a hand recount,” said Senator Mannion, who represents Central New York.
He said redistricting certainly played into the tight race. He was also the only Democratic Senator to win in a Republican district this cycle. “The majority of the elected officials that I’m working with are Republicans. Almost exclusively in fact, therefore it’s all about representing the communities of central New York. Regardless of who I’m working with, we’re in it to serve the public,” he said.
John Kaehny, Executive Director with Reinvent Albany – a watchdog group – says part of retaining the supermajority gives Senate Majority Leader Andrea-Stewart Cousins more leverage when it comes to negotiations with the Governor and the Assembly. “Constitutionally it means that the Senate can override a veto by the governor, but that is very, very rarely done. The most practical import is probably increasing just the clout of the Senate majority leader Andrea Stewart Cousins and of the legislature,” said Kaehny.