Election Update: Democrats Ascendant

December 11, 2020

New York Democrats solidified control of the State Legislature, winning a veto-proof Senate majority and maintaining their ironclad grip on the Assembly.

After Election Day, Senate Democrats seemingly failed to secure the 42 votes necessary for a supermajority—which had been the biggest question in State political circles. But as a deluge of mail-in ballots were counted, Democrats pulled ahead. They will start next year with 43 of the upper chamber’s 63 seats.

While two Senate Democratic incumbents—Monica Martinez (Suffolk) and Jen Metzger (Delaware/Orange/Ulster)—lost to Republican challengers, Democrats flipped five upstate Republican-held seats. Michelle Hinchey (Greene/Montgomery), Sean Ryan (Erie), Samra Brouk (Monroe/Ontario), Jeremy Cooney (Monroe), and John Mannion (Syracuse/Cayuga/Onondaga) all will take office in January.

While down-ballot Democrats generally underperformed across the nation, New York Democrats defied that trend. Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Westchester) celebrated the results in a post-election news conference, saying, “As a coequal branch of government, we recognize the mandate we’ve been given by the voters and we will assert ourselves accordingly.”