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GOP senators deciding leadership crisis

ALBANY - The state Senateas Republican majority went behind closed doors Monday to end a leadership crisis that has raged since Majority Leader Dean Skelos was indicted on corruption charges one week ago.

Skelos, however, wouldnat say if head resign or fight any ouster. Meanwhile his two most likely successors each claimed to have enough votes to become the next majority leader.

The two most likely successors, Sens. John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) and John Flanagan (R-East Northport), shared a frozen pizza Sunday night at DeFranciscoas Albany apartment, but reached no deal.

aThere is no accord,a DeFrancisco said Monday as he entered the private session of Republican senators. aIt was extremely cordial.a

aMy hope is that Sen. Skelos will do the right thing and step down,a said Sen. Rich Funke (R-Rochester) as he entered the meeting.

A long closed-door session is expected Monday.

Flanagan entered the meeting saying only that he is running for majority leader.

On Friday, Republican leaders said the conference was anearly unanimousa in wanting Skelos replaced. That came four days after Skelos won support of the conference in a long closed-door session hours after he was charged a week ago. But since then, some members, constituents and editorial boards have called for Skelos to be replaced.

The U.S. Attorney has accused Skelos of using his political clout to win lucrative paydays for his son, Adam. Skelos has said he and his son will be proven innocent of the charges.

 

 

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