Two special elections were also held Tuesday, to fill the seats vacated by the two former legislative leaders, who were both convicted of felony corruption and had to resign.
In the Assembly race in lower Manhattan, Democrat Alice Cancel won the seat held by former Speaker Sheldon Silver, who is facing sentencing on a corruption conviction. Cancel who was chosen for the seat with the help of Silver’s former top aide and a Democratic club close to the former Speaker, beat Working Families Party, Republican and Green party candidates.
In the Senate contest to fill the seat vacated by former Senate Leader Dean Skelos, who is also facing a prison term, the Democrat, Todd Kaminsky is ahead by one-point, and has declared victory but Republican candidate Chris McGrath says the race is too close yet to call and has asked for a hand count of the paper ballots.
“ We expected this to be close. It is too close to call tonight. And hopefully when everything is counted, we’re going to prevail, “ McGrath told supporters early Wednesday morning.
If Kaminsky’s lead holds, Democrats will gain the numerical majority in the Senate, but not necessarily take control of the chamber from the Republicans because one Democrat caucuses with the GOP, and five other Democrats are independent.