ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Special elections will be held across New York on Tuesday, with 11 legislative seats up for grabs.
The vacant Senate seat in Westchester County has both Democrats and Republicans holding their breath. It will help determine which party rules the roost.
As CBS2’s Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported, if you’re a Westchester County resident, you have to be living under a rock not to know that Republican Julie Killian and Democrat Shelley Mayer want to represent you in Albany.
It’s a race filled with TV ads, millions of dollars in campaign spending and ugly charges. Both women are campaigning down to the wire.
“You need someone who’s going to go to every meeting,” Mayer said, playing up her experience as a Yonkers assemblywoman.
“I’m an Albany outsider. I’m going to go up there, push some buttons and get things done,” said Killian.
A diner in Eastchester served as a microcosm of the election, which has taken on added importance. Because whether the Senate is controlled by Republicans or Democrats will be determined by this one race.
Marilyn Piven told Kramer she’s voting for Mayer. Her lunch partner had another choice.
“I want to see some Republicans get back in Albany. I’m voting for Julie Killian,” said Diane Sender.
Both candidates are courting female voters, Killian tarring Mayer with charges she dropped the ball on sexual misconduct complaints brought to her by Julia Lilkendey and another woman when Mayer served as counsel to Senate Democrats.
“She’s no champion of women,” Killian said. “These things have been going on in Albany for years.”
“I feel terribly about their circumstances,” said Mayer. “Unfortunately, had a ridiculous policy and they still have it.”
The election calculus has everyone on tenterhooks. If Killian wins, Republicans rule. If Mayer wins, her party has to get Simcha Felder, a Brooklyn Democrat who votes with the GOP, to return to the fold. And Felder is playing things close to the vest.
In addition to the Westchester race, there is another Senate race in the Bronx and nine Assembly races in districts from Long Island to Buffalo.