While some New York State Senate races were too close to call as of Wednesday morning, Democrats appeared to maintain at least 40 seats in the body, two shy of the veto-proof supermajority but well beyond what they needed to maintain firm control of the body.
While Republicans appeared to be picking up three senate seats on Long Island and one in the Hudson Valley and potentially one more seat near Syracuse, Democrats counterbalanced those gains by adding seats in New York City and the Southern Tier, according to an analysis from The Capitol Pressroom.
The jury was still out as to how strong of a majority Democrats would maintain in the state Assembly, though several New York City Democratic incumbents were behind Republican challengers in tight races, including South Brooklyn Assemblymembers Peter Abbate Jr., Steven Cymbrowitz and Mathylde Frontus, and Queens Assemblymember Stacey Pheffer Amato.
Of the 150 Assembly seats, Republicans seem poised to gain anywhere between four and seven seats, according to party officials from both sides of the aisle. Democrats, who had enjoyed a supermajority with 107 members to Republicans' 43 members, seemed likely to maintain a supermajority there, even with the loss of several seats.
In the state Senate, Democratic Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins called 40 seats in their favor by early Wednesday morning, with another three races still up in the air.
“The voters of New York have spoken, electing another strong Democratic Majority in the State Senate,” she said. “In these unprecedented times in our country, the people know that the Senate Democrats have and will continue to deliver meaningful results.”
The races that were still too close to call were in Brooklyn’s 17th Senate District, which includes Sunset Park, Kensington and Midwood. There, Democrat Iwen Chu was just 200 votes ahead of Republican Vito J. LaBella. Another tight race was the 50th District in Syracuse, where Republican challenger Rebecca Shiroff was ahead of incumbent Democrat John W. Mannion by fewer than 400 seats. In Westchester County, state Sen. Peter Harckham was locked in a tight race with Republican Gina Arena — with the county’s unofficial results showing Harckham in the lead.
State Senate Republicans were angling to eke away at the supermajority Democrats have enjoyed for the past two years. A veto-proof supermajority is a largely symbolic power in a scenario where Democrats control both the Legislature and the governor’s mansion.
State Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt, a Republican from western New York, told The New York Times his “sole mission” since 2020, was, “not only to grow our conference, but first and foremost, to end the supermajority.”
His office didn’t return a request for further comment right away.
State Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris said Democrats had not used their power to override a veto in the two years they’d had it, though it would have been a much more significant loss for the party had Republican Lee Zeldin won the gubernatorial election.
“We stand with the second-largest majority in the state’s history,” he said. “Other races at other levels of government created a difficult environment in New York and the state Senate came through with flying colors with districts we didn't even draw.”
Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso had some strong words for Democrats, noting "We got work to do in Brooklyn."