Voters to decide the balance of power in the NYS Senate

Posted at 6:29 PM, Nov 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-05 18:52:27-05

Many people will be watching closely the races for the New York State Senate on Election Day 2018.

Currently, Republicans have a one-person majority thanks to an independent Democrat who sides with the Republican caucus.

If the balance of power switches in the NYS Senate, it could give Democrats control of both houses of the NYS Legislature in addition to having a Democrat Governor (Andrew Cuomo).

That could mean legislation that had been blocked by Republicans will have a better chance of becoming law - including the "Child Victims Act" which was passed by the NYS Assembly in 2018 but again blocked by the Republican majority NYS Senate.

Republican leadership previously told 7 Eyewitness News they were concerned the legislation would allow accusations to be made in cases from long ago where no witnesses or evidence exists anymore.

Local attorney Steve Boyd is an advocate for the Child Victims Act. 

He believes New York State needs to follow the lead of other states in extending the time limits for taking legal actions against a sexual perpetrator.

"Studies have shown that people who have been sexually abused as children, very often, repress those memories until much later in life."

Under the current NYS law, the statue of limitations for a sexually-abused child to take legal action is five (5) years starting at age 18 and ending at age 23.


Erie County Republican Legislator Kevin Hardwick is one of those very worried about a potential change in the NYS Senate.

Hardwick fears it could lessen WNY's voice in Albany because the majority of NYS Senators for our area are Republican with only a single Democrat (Tim Kennedy) - something Hardwick believes could hurt WNY when it comes to getting funding during budget time.

"The leadership of the NYS Senate would shift from upstate to downstate, if the Democrats take over, and obviously that is not good," said Hardwick.


There are no hotly-contested NYS Senate races in Erie, Niagara, Cattaraugus or Chautauqua Counties this election day.

Democrat NYS Senator TIm Kennedy (63rd District), Republican NYS Senators Pat Gallivan (59th District) and Cathy Young (57th District) face no opposition at all.

Republican NYS Senator Chris Jacobs (60th District) is facing a challenge from Carima El Behairy (D).

Republican NYS Senator Mike Ranzenhofer (61st District) is facing a challenge from Joan Elizabeth Seamans (D).

Republican NYS Senator Robert Ortt (62nd District) is facing a challenge from Peter Diachun (GRE).

7 Eyewitness New Reporter Ed Reilly has more in his report.





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