Updated 09/27/2012 05:37 PM
After McDonald announces he won't campaign for re-election, what happens now?
One of the four Republican state senators to vote in favor of same-sex marriage is choosing not to run on the Independence Party line after losing the GOP primary. This, despite a big boost from Governor Cuomo in the form of a promised endorsement. Capital Tonight's Nick Reisman has more.
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- Governor Andrew Cuomo made it clear this week he would have been a staunch supporter of Senator Roy McDonald had he continued his campaign.
"My position is, I support whatever you decide," Cuomo said.
But when it comes to the other pro-same-sex marriage Republicans who are running for re-election, Cuomo told reporters at a cabinet meeting Thursday that he wasn't prepared to go as far, at least for now. Senator Stephen Saland narrowly won his GOP primary while Senator Mark Grisanti had a comfortable victory. Both now face three-way races with Democratic and Conservative Party candidates.
Cuomo said, "Senator Saland won by a slim margin. There's no doubt the senator paid a price, but it wasn't politically fatal for Senator Saland. Senator Grisanti actually won. Senator McDonald lost. And that's the difference."
The Democratic governor has held off endorsing a full Democratic takeover of the state Senate, which is divided 33-29 in favor of Republicans. That hasn't stopped Democrats from warning that the Republican conference is becoming more conservative following this month's primary.
Senate Minority Leader John Sampson said, "What you see is the moderate Republicans are going into extinction, and what you're going to have is national Republicans in the statehouse in Albany."
Conservative or not, Republicans including Binghamton Senator Tom Libous and Buffalo's Grisanti are happy to include the popular Cuomo in their campaign ads, touting their good working relationship with him."
"One example of the good things that can happen when one independent senator puts leadership first, not politics. Mark Grisanti, thank you for your leadership."
The governor says he doesn't see anything wrong with his image used in Republicans -- just as long as the ads tell the truth.
"I think there are Democrats doing it also," said Cuomo. "What I've said is, if it's factually accurate I don't have an issue with it. If it is factually accurate."