GOP makes strong showing in state Senate races

Capitol building, Albany. Contributed photo

ALBANY — New York Republicans had a stronger-than-expected showing on Tuesday night after losing their Senate majority in 2018.

Republicans emerged from Election Day with big leads over incumbent Senate Democrats across several Long Island seats as well as one in Brooklyn, but thousands of absentee ballots have yet to be counted.

Democrats’ dreams of a supermajority in the Senate remained uncertain Friday as election officials prepared to start counting thousands of absentee ballots.

Absentee ballot votes are expected to lean Democratic, with Republicans largely favoring in-person voting this year after President Donald Trump urged his supporters to vote in person on Election Day.

Republicans currently lead in eight Senate races, including five challenges to sitting Democratic incumbents.

Democrats currently control 40 of the 63 seats in the chamber — they need to add two more seats for a two-thirds veto-proof majority.

Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay, R-Fulton, said Republican support in districts across New York reinforced the need for the state GOP’s commitment to fiscal responsibility and public safety.

Republicans will gain at least 11 new members, Barclay said.

“Our conference continues to grow,” he added. “This was a tremendous accomplishment, especially considering the fact that our conference is typically out-spent by a 4-to-1 margin. I extend my congratulations to all of our new members, as well as all the other candidates and winners in this year’s election.”

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Barclay called on New Yorkers to come together and move past the 2020 contentious election season.

“It is time to refocus and come together to do the people’s work,” Barclay said Friday. “New members on both sides of the aisle must now get up to speed on the many issues facing New York. Our state is still marred by major economic uncertainties and the impact of COVID-19 is substantial. There is no shortage of work to do. I am confident, though, that together we will find workable solutions that account for the interests of all New Yorkers.”

Tribune News Service contributed to this report.

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