ALBANY -- Democratic Sen. Ruben Diaz said the new Republican majority can count on his vote next year, adding a little more cushion to the GOP’s narrow majority.
“I am a Democrat, but you know that the Cuomo agenda is a poison to me,” Diaz, who represents the Bronx, told Newsday. “So as long as the Republicans need my vote to stop the Cuomo radical agenda, I will be with them.”
Diaz said he won’t need to formally join the Republican conference and he’s not asking for any leadership post or stipend in return for his vote. He said he will, however, be a sure vote against Democratic Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s late-term abortion proposal and other liberal issues.
Diaz has long supported conservative measures at times going against his Democratic conference. But he said he’s further emboldened now because he sees strong support for conservative values in the Republican Senate win and in the showing of Republican candidate for governor Rob Astorino.
Diaz was a strong supporter of Astorino and said Astorino’s 41 percent of the vote in his loss to Cuomo shows a force is growing to combat the liberal agenda of Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“That 41 percent gives me strength,” Diaz said Wednesday. “There is nothing for anyone to offer me. There is nothing for anyone to offer to turn me around.”
Thirty-two Republicans won Tuesday to give the GOP sole control of the majority in the chamber where 32 votes controls legislation and resources. Conservative Sen. Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn) is expected to continue to sit with Republicans, giving them one vote more than Republicans need.
Republicans are also expected to talk to the five-member Independent Democratic Conference, which has been sharing majority control with Republicans in a historic bipartisan coalition.