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Thursday, October 23, 2014
News analysis

Deal between IDC, Dems not as simple as it seems

By Shant Shahrigian
Posted

After Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio, nearly every incumbent in the Bronx and a phalanx of large unions endorsed state Sen. Co-majority Leader Jeff Klein for reelection, it will be a major upset if his Democratic primary challenger Oliver Koppell pulls off a win on Tuesday, Sept. 9.

When it comes to the promised coalition between Mr. Klein’s group of breakaway Democrats and the Democratic Conference, it is probably wise to remember that nothing planned in Albany is ever guaranteed.

Mr. Klein’s campaign did not make the senator available for an interview for this article. But in an e-mail, his campaign spokeswoman Candice Giove said, “A swell of excitement surrounds this new IDC-Democratic Coalition from Governor Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio, and Senator Klein’s new coalition partner State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins.”

Following threats from Mr. Cuomo and Mr. de Blasio to support Mr. Koppell if Mr. Klein did not ditch the coalition he formed in 2012 with Senate Republicans, the senator promised in June to form a new alliance with Democrats following the November general election.

“That’s the most likely outcome and everyone is looking forward to it,” said a Democratic source who did not want to be named due to the sensitivity of the topic.

Several seats in play

Still, if Senate Democrats win an outright majority in November, Mr. Klein could see himself back among rank-and-file legislators. It comes down to whether a handful of seats up for grabs go to mainstream Democrats or not.

Republicans are posing serious challenges to three Democratic incumbents: Terry Gipson in Poughkeepsie, Ted O’Brien in Rochester and Cecilia Tkaczyk in Kingston.

Meanwhile, Democrats are challenging Republican incumbents Mark Grisanti in Buffalo and Jack Martins in Mineola. Along with Mr. Koppell’s challenge to Mr. Klein, Comptroller John Liu is posing a serious threat to IDC member Tony Avella in Queens.

Four Republicans are vacating their seats due to scandals or other reasons: Greg Ball in Brewster, Charles Fuschillo in Massapequa, George Maziarz in Lockport and Lee Zeldin in Hauppage.

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