Governor Cuomo Announces Special Election

The Governor recently announced that a special election will be held on May 23 for two open State legislative seats, one from each House.

On Feb. 14, Senator Bill Perkins, (D-30), won a special election to reclaim his old seat on the New York City Council. Perkins had previously served on the Council from 1998 to 2005 before joining the Senate. He immediately resigned his seat in the Senate, leaving it vacant.

Though there are more than two months until the special election, Brian Benjamin, a longtime political fundraiser for former President Barack Obama, has emerged as one of the early favorites in the race to replace Perkins.

The current balance of power in the Senate is comprised of 31 Republicans, 8 IDC members and Simcha Felder, who is a registered Democrat but caucuses with the Republicans. This gives the Republicans a functional majority of 40 members as opposed to 22 mainline Democrats and Perkins’ vacant seat.

Perkins was not the only State legislator to leave for another job. An Assembly vacancy was created on Jan. 31, when Assemblyman Joseph Saladino, (R-9), was appointed Town Supervisor of Oyster Bay to fill the post after the former Town Supervisor, John Venditto, resigned in the wake of his indictment on federal corruption charges.