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Special Election Results: Democrats Win Senate Seats
New Yorkers ranging from Buffalo to Long Island participated in eleven special elections for State legislative seats on Tuesday. Nine assembly seats were up for election, however, the most anticipated were the two State Senate races, as Democrats looked to advance towards majority control of that House. In the heavily Democratic 32nd Senate District in the South Bronx, a seat vacated by Ruben Diaz Sr. was filled as expected by Democratic Assemblyman Luis R. Sepulveda. In Westchester's 37th Senate District, Assemblywoman Shelley B. Mayer, a Democrat, earned a decisive victory with 61% of the vote over her Republican opponent Julie Killian who received 39% of the vote. The seat was vacated by Democrat George Latimer after his election as Westchester County Executive last November. Although Democrats outnumber Republicans two to one in the county, a large number of independent voters and new district lines set expectations for a tight race. Maintaining both Senate seats was key to Democratic efforts to regain control of the Senate Chamber after November's elections when every State legislative seat is up for voter approval. Earlier this month, Governor Cuomo brokered a deal to reunite the former 8-member Senate Independent Democratic Caucus and the Senate Mainline Democrats (21 in number) to create a 29-member conference. With yesterday's election results, the two vacant Senate seats are filled by Democrats, creating a 31-member Democratic conference from what was just weeks ago a 21-member conference. (more…)