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NYS Senate Leader Flanagan Admits He's Thought About Running For Governor

New York state Senator John Flanagan
Karen DeWitt
New York State Senator John Flanagan

New York State Senate Leader John Flanagan says he’s not running for governor right now, but, in an interview with public radio and TV he admits, he’s thought about it from time to time.

Senator Flanagan, a Republican from Long Island, says in “real life”, he’s occupied full-time with leading the Senate, where Republicans rule in conjunction with several independent Democrats.

“That is my absolute, overarching number one priority,” Flanagan said.

But he says he won’t deny he’s thought about a run for governor, throughout his lengthy career as a state legislator.

“Yes of course I have,” Flanagan said. “It’s like paying for the Yankees in the World Series.”

Flanagan, who has begun putting his public schedule out to reporters more often, says he had “nothing to do” with a Newsday story that said the Senate leader might be considering a run.

Flanagan’s relationship with Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, has cooled in recent months, after Cuomo backed Democrats for some Senate seats in the 2016 elections, and the governor and legislative leaders had a falling out over a failed special session in December. 

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of public radio stations in New York state. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.
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