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Amid Senate chatter, Klein, de Blasio meet
With elections looming, State Senate co-leader Jeff Klein met Monday with New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, sparking speculation about the future of Klein’s group of breakaway Democrats.
Klein (D-Bronx) and his five-member Independent Democratic Conference share Senate power with 29 Republicans, including Senate co-leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre). Klein is facing pressure from other Democrats and the liberal Working Families Party to mend fences with mainline Democrats and rejoin the party fold, to give Dems control of the chamber.
At the WFP convention May 31, de Blasio helped swing the party endorsement to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo after the governor said he would work to help Democrats take the Senate. The WFP has blamed the Klein-Skelos coalition for blocking what it calls progressive legislation.
Aides to Klein and de Blasio declined comment on the meeting.
Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers) told Newsday on June 12 she’d be amenable to forming a new coalition with Klein.
Klein has worked as de Blasio’s ally in Albany, pushing for pre-kindergarten funding and backing the mayor’s plan to lower city speed limits, among other things.