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NY Senate control murky as legislative races linger

November 7, 2012
Associated Press

ALBANY (AP) - The fight for control of New York's state Senate was too close to call hours after the polls closed.

With most precincts reporting in unofficial results, it appeared two Republican seats would switch to Democrats leaving the chamber tied 31-31. A new seat was too close to call.

It appeared Stephen Saland, a Republican from Poughkeepsie who voted to support gay marriage, would lose. And in Rochester, Democrat Ted O'Brien appeared to have defeated Sean Hanna. That seat had been held by another Republican who had voted for same-sex marriage.

A new seat pitted Republican George Amedore against Democrat Cecilia. That was too close to call.

Republicans went into Tuesday with a 33-29 majority in the chamber that requires 32 votes to pass any measure.

Both sides claimed victory.

"We are confident that once all the votes are in, we will retain our majority," said Scott Reif, spokesman for Senate Republicans.

Sen. Michael Gianaris of Queens, who led the Senate Democratic campaigns, also expressed confidence.

"It's a great night," he said.

Democrats would likely need to win at least a six-seat majority to have a clear hand in running the Senate. The four-member Independent Democratic Conference that has been closely allied with the Republicans will continue to operate independently and not automatically vote the party line.

In addition, if Democrat Simcha Felder wins in the 17th district in Brooklyn, he may sit and vote with the Republicans.

Some of the races may take up to two weeks to sort out as absentee ballots are counted.



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