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Countdown 'Til Senate Democrats Pick a New Leader?

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With the power sharing agreement betetween the Senate Republicans and Independent Senate Democrats in place, you might not think much is riding on the last undecided State Senate race. You would only sort of be right.

Democrats expect that Cecellia Tzacyk will defeat Republican Assemblyman George Amedore — and they are waiting for the race to be settled so that they can decide on a new leadership structure, including possibly a new conference leader to replace Sen. John Sampson.

Sampson recently stated he would give up the leadership if it meant regaining control of the Senate. 

Members of the Senate Democrats were encouraged by Gov. Andrew Cuomo's perceived scolding off Senate Republicans on Fred Dicker's radio show.

Cuomo took to the airwaves to remind Republicans who is really in control in Albany after Republican Conference Leader Dean Skelos indicated that Cuomo's agenda might not be the Republican Conference's agenda. 

Some in Albany, (myself included) saw this exchange as a drama that has played out between Cuomo and Republicans before — where Cuomo does so with nudging and works with the Republicans to get what they want.

Some Senate Democrats, however, are hopeful that it is a sign that there is trouble in paradise between Skelos and the IDC; they want to be ready in case the IDC gets scared and wants to come home. To do that, they are considering a replacement for Sampson. Klein has said he would not join the rejoin the Demcorats if Sampson was head. 

One seemingly obvious choice, Sen. Mike Gianaris, who has very succesfully headed the Senate Demcoratic Campaign Committee, is actually a very unlikely choice given that IDC leader Jeff Klein is not fond of Gianaris being that Gianris took his job as head of the DCC. Racial and geographic divisions also have to be considered as well as

The excercise in choosing new leadership is sticky, especially given that some might see it more about finding someone who will suit every faction rather than about picking "the right person for the job." 

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Guest Sunday, 14 February 2016