Thursday, July 12, 2007

Spano Splits From GOP

Yonkers State Assemblyman Mike Spano has officially switched from the GOP to the Democratic Party.

Spano is the brother of former State Senator Nick Spano (R-Yonkers), a fairly liberal Republican defeated last year by former Westchester County Legislator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers). Mike Spano's district takes up more than 2/3 of the city of Yonkers and is heavily Democratic (although heavily Italian-American.)

Spano says the national GOP has moved too far to the right for a moderate like him and he feels more at home with the Democratic caucus.

Speaker Sheldon Silver however has not rewarded Spano with any leadership positions, instead recognizing him as the "newest" member of the Democratic caucus.

Spano's switch gives the Democrats a 107-41-1 majority in the State Assembly. Those numbers include that of Paul Tonko (D-Montgomery County) who resigned to become head of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. His seat is expected to stay in Democratic hands and a special election has been called for July 31st.

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