Vote recount returns NY Senate majority to GOP

ALBANY - (AP) - Republicans on Saturday regained control of New York's Senate beginning in January after a recount in a key seat on Long Island certified that the GOP candidate won.

The action gives Republicans their only power base in a statewhere Democrats control every statewide position and the Assembly.

The final vote tally gave Republican Jack Martins a narrow winover Democratic Sen. Craig Johnson in the 7th Senate District inNassau County.

Democrats went into the November elections with a 32-30 majorityin the chamber. Now it appears Republicans will have a two-seatmajority in January for the upcoming two-year session.

Democrats have controlled the Senate for two tumultuous yearsthat included a Republican-backed coup and gridlockingpartisanship.

Justice Ira Warshawsky certified that Martins won by 451 votesof the tens of thousands of votes cast. An application by Democratsfor a stay to delay enactment of the decision pending an appeal tothe state Appellate Division was denied, said Dan Bagnuola,spokesman for the Nassau County court system.

The judge had other options, including another review of paperballots.

The justice also set a Tuesday hearing to determine whether anaudit of the count could still be required, according to theDemocratic conference, which will continue to review other optionsin court.

"There's important work to be done in Albany, and now that theelections are over we're eager to get right to it," said SenateRepublican leader Dean Skelos of Nassau County.

Skelos added that the GOP is prepared to work with DemocraticGov.-elect Andrew Cuomo to address the state's economic challenges,"including the need to reduce spending to balance the budget,provide relief to struggling taxpayers and help the private sectorcreate jobs."

The decision means that the expected Republican majority willhold even if Democrats win the sole remaining recount inWestchester County. The Assembly will retain its Democraticmajority.

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