After Election Day earlier this month, Republicans who supported New York’s same sex marriage legislation received mixed results against their anti-gay marriage rivals. One GOP senator, Buffalo’s Mark Grisanti, cruised to a comfortable victory, while two other senators, Roy McDonald and Steve Saland faced tough challenges, the result of which was determined by the absentee ballots counted this week. Mr. Saland looks like he ultimately edged out his opponent and declared victory yesterday, but Mr. McDonald appears to have gone down in defeat.
And, asked about these Republicans’ respective electoral situations earlier today, Governor Andrew Cuomo said he was more than pleased despite being a Democrat.
“I am elated about Senator Saland’s victory and I am still concerned Senator McDonald’s election and we’ll wait to see how that plays out, how the count goes, who wins or loses and what the senator decides to do,” Mr. Cuomo said, speaking on a conference call trumpeting his administration’s success with the Tappan Zee Bridge.
By “what the senator decides to do,” Mr. Cuomo was undoubtedly referring to whether Mr. McDonald will pursue a general election campaign solely on the Independence Party’s line. There has been plenty of speculation that Mr. Cuomo might endorse pro-gay marriage Republicans in the State Senate, and the Independence branding could provide the governor more bipartisan cover in Mr. McDonald’s case.
Pressed on why he was so happy Mr. Saland eked out a primary win in another party’s election, Mr. Cuomo argued the marriage vote truly impressed him and compared it to some of his own political convictions.
“This is a man who difficult vote based on conscience, I believe it was an act of political courage,” he said of Mr. Saland, noting that his own father, former Governor Mario Cuomo, took heat for opposing the death penalty “even though it was very, very difficult politically because it was unpopular.”
“I’ve taken positions myself that were unpopular, so I know what it’s like,” he added.