Democrats in the New York State Senate appear to have bolstered their super majority, claiming Monday that their candidate in Syracuse captured the party’s 43rd seat in the 63-seat chamber.
High school science teacher John Mannion declared victory over Republican Anni Renna in the 50th Senatorial District. Renna had no immediate comment.
“I am humbled to have earned the support of my constituents and honored to serve as the next representative for the 50th Senate District. This isn’t just a victory for my campaign, it’s a win for the hardworking residents of this community and for our entire region,” Mannion said in a statement.
Continuing a trend in other races, Mannion trailed Renna by seven percentage points in the machine count but pulled ahead of his opponent by winning the overwhelming majority of absentee ballots cast during the coronavirus pandemic.
The seat flips from Republican to Democrat. Mannion replaces former GOP state Sen. Bob Antonacci, who stepped down after being elected to a judgeship.
Antonacci had defeated Mannion for the seat two years ago.
Democrats picked up three seats — expanding their majority from 40 to 43.
Votes are still being counted for two races in Suffolk County where Republicans are in the lead.
Last week, the Democrats claimed a veto-proof majority after first-term incumbent Peter Harckham beat back a strong challenge from former Westchester County Executive and gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino.
The Democrats now completely dominate New York State government. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is at the helm in the executive mansion and Democrats have super or veto-proof majorities in both the Senate and state Assembly.
The huge majorities will make it easier for Cuomo and Democrats to pass policies they agree on.
But with Republicans now largely sidelined, the fireworks will occur when Cuomo and Democratic lawmakers are at loggerheads over issues such as taxes and spending or legislation. The veto-proof majorities give Democratic lawmakers more leverage in talks with the powerful Cuomo, said Senate Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris (D-Queens).
Republicans and their allies tried to make inroads with campaigns slamming Democratic incumbents in battleground districts as soft on crime for voting for a controversial law that eliminated cash bail for many criminal defendants.
But the effort — backed by the PBA and billionaire Ron Lauder — largely fizzled.