Democratic State Senator Diane Savino and Republican Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis both get along extremely well, and their Staten Island-based districts even overlap. According to the Staten Island Advance, both Ms. Savino and Ms. Malliotakis shop together at the same Staten Island Mall Macy’s, arrive together at many of the same political events and drive up to Albany together as well.
“In a testament to those differences,” the Advance writes, “Ms. Malliotakis’s cell phone has “The Odd Couple” theme song as Ms. Savino’s ring-tone.”
The public interaction between the two has indeed been friendly. In addition to the events mentioned above, Ms. Savino refereed a ping pong match between Ms. Malliotakis and other elected officials. On a Facebook photo of them driving up to Albany together, Assemblywoman Malliotakis jokes that, “Diane is driving, I am the D. J.” While on a photo of of Ms. Malliotakis holding her goddaughter, Ms. Savino talks directly to the Assemblywoman’s mother, jokingly assuring her that the Senator is “actively looking for a suitable husband for her!”
They work also together in an official capacity. On the more lighthearted side of things, they issued a joint press release expressing “disappointment” with the Staten Island Mall, “for their poor judgment in arranging a public appearance for ‘Snooki’ to sell her new line of sunglasses.” They’ve also issued joint press releases making more serious statements, such as calling on the Department of Environmental Conservation to avoid overregulation of New York’s harbor industry.
Even though she is one of the most progressive State Senators, Ms. Savino has engaged in some fairly radical bipartisan efforts up in Albany as well. She was one of four State Senators to leave the Democratic conference and form the Independent Democratic Caucus, which has a strong relationship with the Republican majority despite being composed entirely of Democratic members.
For her part, Assemblywoman Malliotakis could be facing a competitive reelection and having some bipartisan credentials certainly doesn’t hurt politically. Democrats have already lined up a challenger in the form of small business owner John Mancuso, and if the Assembly Democrats control their own lines in redistricting as they have in years past, they could theoretically endanger the freshman Assemblywoman’s electoral prospects even further.
Regardless of Albany politics, the friendship between Ms. Savino and Miss Malliotakis doesn’t seem especially likely to slow down anytime soon. Even as recently as yesterday, the two posed together for a photo at a party in Democratic District Leader Kevin Peter Carroll’s apartment.