In Tuesday's 4 special elections to fill vacant NYS Assembly seats, Republicans won 3 of the 4 races - and garnered a net gain of 2 seats. While this is not enough to affect the overwhelming Democratic majority in the Assembly, this will have an impact on the political landscape immediately ahead - particularly in the race for Governor and for control of the NYS Senate.
Suffolk County -- Assembly District 3: Republican Dean Murray eked a win over Lauren Thoden with a margin of less than 200 votes. This seat had previously been held by a Democrat, current Brookhaven Town Clerk, Patricia Eddington.
Nassau County -- Assembly District 15: Michael Montesano easily held the seat for the GOP by defeating Matt Meng.
Queens County -- Assembly District 24>: David Weprin held the seat for the Democrats, keeping the seat in the Weprin family by fending off Robert Friedrich, a registered Democrat running as a Republican.
Westchester County -- Assembly District 89: Republican Bob Castelli easily defeated Democratic County Legislator Peter Harckham, transferring this seat to the Republicans, who haven't held this seat for 17 years.
What do the results portend? With the GOP net gain of two seats, if there wasn't enough movement by Democrats to pressure David Paterson to opt out of the gubernatorial race, this sentiment will now accelerate (notwithstanding whatever mysterious story the New York Times is working on). Democrats are petrified of running with Paterson at the top of the ticket -- and the move to Andrew Cuomo will soon become a stampede. The Democrats have a fragile, tenuous majority in the State Senate. The betting here is that Paterson will be persuaded that it's in the best interest of the Democratic party and New York State to not engage in a campaign for election -- and instead focus on the horrific economic and budgetary dilemmas facing the state, paving the way for Cuomo to head the ticket in November.
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