NY Dems Claim Senate Majority in New Session

Sen. Malcolm Smith of Queens was chosen majority leader

Democrats have taken control of New York's Senate for the first time in 43 years after whittling away the Republicans' last stronghold in state government over the last decade and then fending off a challenge from within their own party.

Hours after the Democrats shored up a 32-30 majority won in the November elections, they chose Sen. Malcolm Smith of Queens as their majority leader on Wednesday.

The action gave Democrats control of the Senate, Assembly and governor's office for the first time since the 1930s.

Former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, a Long Island Republican, is expected to be the minority leader.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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