Josh Goodman is a former staff writer for GOVERNING..E-mail: email@example.com
Remember how Levar Burton always used to say, "But you don't have to take my word for it," when recommending a book on Reading Rainbow?
Well, today's special election for a New York Senate seat in Nassau County is a big deal, but you don't have to take my word for it. Just ask Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani, both of whom showed up to campaign.
Besides testing the persuasive powers of two presidential candidates, the race gives Democrats an opportunity to cut into the 33-28 Republican advantage in the body. In November, Republicans clung to control of the New York Senate, in spite of a toxic environment for their party in the state, perhaps due to the power of incumbency, the power of gerrymandering or the appeal of divided government.
Keeping control of the upper chamber could hinge on this election, however. As the New York Times reports:
"Injecting a note of political intrigue, a top Albany Democrat speculated that his party could take control of the Senate now by winning this election and persuading a couple of Republican senators to switch parties. The Democrat, Malcolm A. Smith, the Senate minority leader, talked about that possibility in a weekend speech on Long Island."
Update: The Democrat, Craig Johnson, won with 53% of the vote. We'll have to wait and see whether any party switchers materialize.
Written and compiled by staff writers and editors, GOVERNING View is an on-the-ground, and sometimes behind-the-scenes, look at the topics we're covering in print and online. From notes on what's up in statehouses, county courthouses and city halls, to encounters with people, places and things, GOVERNING View is a window into the side of state and local government you don't always see.