While MYD-backed State Senate candidates David Carlucci and Tony Avella prevailed on Tuesday, the fate of the Democratic majority in the State Senate still hangs in the balance (and with it, many progressive agenda items like marriage equality; preventing hydrofracking upstate to protect our water supply; and campaign finance reform- not to mention a general trend towards openness and transparency that was unheard of under GOP leadership). Currently, Democrats have 29 seats and Republicans have 30; three are undecided, and those are Suzi Oppenheimer, Antoine Thompson, and Craig Johnson’s races.
Here’s the update from earlier this afternoon, from Capitol Confidential:
Sen. Suzi Oppenheimer is leading her GOP challenger Bob Cohen by 466 votes, with all but two election districts in Westchester County reporting.
(Click here on SD–>37 to see)
“Suzi is gaining strength and closing strong, as we expected. Once all votes have been counted, it will be clear, Democrats retained the majority,” said Democratic spokesman Austin Shafran.
If Oppenheimer hangs on, along with Sens. Craig Johnson and Antoine Thompson, Democrats will keep a 32-30 majority in the Senate. Both Thompson and Johnson are running behind, however; the latest tally puts Thompson down by 598 votes to challenger Mark Grisanti.
There will be court action tomorrow morning regarding the seat, I’m told by GOP lawyers. Both Democrats and Republicans filed motions with courts in Erie and Niagara counties (respectively) to prevent any ballot counting from occurring outside of a judicially sanctioned process. Republicans filed their suit in Niagara County around 2 a.m. Wednesday morning, thinking they’d get better treatment from a judge there than Erie County, where Democrats filed their action.
A judge will hear the Democratic case tomorrow in Buffalo. Republicans hope things will be quick and that the action will be subsumed by their own litigation, which is returnable in court on Monday.
Fingers crossed :/