Democrats are claiming control of the New York State Senate, with several seats now leaning toward the party’s candidates.
In a statement late Tuesday night, Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said while the results of some elections are still being determined, “at least 32 Senate Democratic Conference members have already won election tonight.” Elections have not yet been called in many races, but Democrats say they could have as many as 39 seats, several more than the minimum needed to rule the chamber.
The wins can be attributed to animosity among New Yorkers against President Donald Trump, as well as help from Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has been criticized in the past for not doing enough to help Democratic candidates for Senate. Cuomo steered $5 million into the Senate and Congressional races this year.
Cuomo’s top campaign advisor, Maggie Moran, says she expects Democrats, who will now control both houses of the state legislature, to enact a number of measures to protect rights that she says have been threatened by President Trump’s policies. Including, she says, bills that stalled in the formerly Republican led State Senate for years, like codifying the abortion rights in the U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade into New York law.
“As the president rolls back the rights and values that we care about in New York we protect it,” said Moran, who said she also expects the governor and legislature to act to expand voter access, enact bail reform and legalize recreational marijuana.
“That all dramatically changes when there’s a Democratic Senate,” Moran said.
The leader of the Senate Republicans, in a statement, said the results are “disappointing,” but Senator John Flanagan said his GOP members will continue to “push back” and keep advocating for their agenda.