In the midst of the Democratic blue wave in the 2018 elections, Republicans lost their last bastion of political power in New York — the state Senate.
In 2022, the Republicans are on the offensive to reclaim some previously held seats and potentially take back some power in the Empire State.
The person in charge of that effort, state Sen. Pam Helming, a Finger Lakes Republican who chairs the New York State Senate Republican Campaign Committee, told Capital Tonight that last year’s electoral successes in Nassau and Suffolk counties “laid the base” for success for the party in 2022.
After taking the majority in 2018, Democrats were able to gain more seats in 2020 to achieve a supermajority in the state Senate. Currently, the Democrats control 43 seats to the 20 seats controlled by the Republicans. Four Democrats and three Republicans will be retiring or seeking other offices at the end of their term. To retake the majority, the GOP would need to flip 12 seats. Helming said the party will focus their message on affordability and public safety and added that “Republicans are on the right side of the message.”
Last month, a court-appointed expert drew new state Senate lines after the initial lines were thrown out for being unconstitutional. Helming argues the new lines create a fairer playing field which could help the Republicans in seats they are targeting.
Last week, Helming’s Democratic counterpart, Sen. Mike Gianaris, told Capital Tonight that on top of defending their incumbents, the Democrats will be targeting two Democratic leaning seats on Long Island.