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Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who agreed to throw his weight behind Senate Democrats, met quietly this week with the chamber's top Republican, Senate co-leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre), several sources said.
The governor and Skelos met Tuesday in New York City, sources said. Details of the discussion weren’t immediately available but one source said the get together was “interesting, given (Cuomo) has said he wants a Democratic Senate.”
Cuomo has touted his work with Senate Republicans over the last four years, to implement initiatives such as the state’s property-tax cap. This run included two years when the GOP, after losing seats in 2012, formed a coalition with a breakaway pack of Democrats to maintain Senate control. Some Democrats have been upset with Cuomo for tacitly backing the coalition rather than uniting Democrats to take over the chamber.
On May 31, the governor, as part of an agreement to win the endorsement of the liberal Working Families Party said Democrats must rally around a “simple goal: taking back the Senate.”
Four weeks later, Senate co-leader Jeff Klein (D-Bronx), who heads the breakaway Independent Democratic Conference, and Cuomo issued a joint statement saying the IDC would re-join the mainline Democrats after the November elections.
Some Republicans accused the governor of turning his back on bipartisanship, while others expressed doubt that the governor would go out of his way to knock the GOP out of power.