ALBANY -- Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Monday he won't begin to fulfill his commitment to form a Democratic majority in the State Senate until next year, after the elections.
"What we're talking about is next year for reunification," Cuomo said at a news media event in Dutchess County.
A week ago, Cuomo promised the liberal Working Families Party that he would reunite Democrats in the Senate to end majority control held by Republicans. The Republican conference is headed by co-leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre), who shares control with the five-member Independent Democratic Conference.
"That is a fight that we must wage," Como said in a video to the Working Families Party on May 31. "If we are unified . . . we can take control of our government."
Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers), who leads the larger Democratic minority conference, said Monday that "we have always made it clear that we want Democrats to be united and the sooner we can do that the better."
She noted the coalition between Republicans and the IDC continues through this year so the governor was speaking "pragmatically," adding, "I agree whatever happens would have to happen next year."
Sen. Jeff Klein (D-Bronx), who heads the IDC, declined to comment before the end of the legislative session this month.
There was no immediate comment from the Independent Democratic Conference, the Republican conference or the Working Families Party.
Cuomo narrowly won the minor party endorsement over an angry faction who said they didn't believe he would turn on his Republican Senate allies.
Cuomo won the important minor party endorsements on commitments to action and policy he won't likely have to fulfill until after the fall elections.