ALBANY — The state Senate’s GOP majority isn’t dead yet.
Brooklyn Democrat Simcha Felder declared yesterday that he’ll caucus with Republicans when he takes his Senate seat in January.
That could allow Republicans to keep their lone power base in state government.
Democrats were leading in races for 33 of 63 Senate seats, although at least one was too close to call, before losing Felder.
four Democrats who broke away to create an independent conference last
year could also form a coalition with Republicans — while GOP insiders
speculated there could be more Democratic defections.
Felder was believed to be planning to side with Majority Leader Dean
Skelos (R-Nassau) — who drew a new, heavily Orthodox Jewish district in
this year’s redistricting to favor Felder.
What’s more, Skelos
didn’t put any money into the campaign of the Russian-born Republican
incumbent Felder defeated, David Storobin — who barely won a special
election earlier this year in a soon-to-be-defunct district.
Post reported earlier this week that the Rev. Al Sharpton’s public
efforts to pressure Democrats to unite could push Felder to the GOP —
and that former Majority Leader Malcolm Smith (D-Queens) was “open” to
caucusing with Republicans.
Felder met with Skelos yesterday.
he said in a statement, “I have been clear that I will work with any
group of senators who have real economic-development and
jobs-encouragement ideas, who plan to bring substantial tax relief to
the people who elected me, who have compassion for the poor and respect
for the middle class, who support the improvement of public education
and a plan to ease the burden of tuition-paying parents across New York”
— code for Yeshiva parents, among others. (Continues)