After winning the primary election to take over his former boss Eric Adams's vacant seat in the New York State Senate, Jesse Hamilton is apparently undecided about whether he will caucus with the regular Senate Democrats or the Independent Democratic Conference, despite assurances Tuesday night from state Sen. Diane Savino that Hamilton would join the IDC.
Savino made the claim at IDC leader Jeff Klein's primary night victory party in the Bronx. Speaking to reporters after Klein's victory speech, Savino was asked about the IDC's strong showing on primary night, specifically her colleague Tony Avella's defeat of John Liu, and she mentioned Hamilton's triumph as part of that success.
"Jesse Hamilton was successful in Brooklyn, Jesse Hamilton will be a member of the IDC," Savino said.
Klein also said, in an interview with reporters after his speech, that the IDC was "not an exclusive club," and is open to any Democratic senator who wants to join.
There has been a lot of speculation about whether Hamilton, a district leader and former aide to Adams, would conference with the regular Senate Democrats or the IDC, especially after the IDC's campaign committee spent $176,000 supporting Hamilton's candidacy. However, in response to a candidate screening questionnaire given to Hamilton by Tenants PAC, which endorsed him, that asked if Hamilton would join the regular Democrats, he reportedly answered, "Most definitely, yes."
But Nathan Smith, a campaign spokesperson for Hamilton's campaign, indicated in a statement that Hamilton would not make a final decision until consulting with his coalition of supporters after the November general election.
"The lynchpin of Jesse's victory was the broad coalition of partners that believed in him and his message of building a safer, more affordable Brooklyn," Smith said. "After November, Jesse will sit down with these partners and figure out how best to move forward in Albany on the issues that matter most to Brooklyn families: affordable housing, education, and stopping gun violence. One thing that should be crystal clear to everyone, Jesse Hamilton will certainly never vote for a Republican for Senate Majority Leader or any other Senate leadership position."
Hamilton secured 64.9 percent of the vote in his primary race against former Department of Education administrator Rubain Dorancy, who garnered 29.9 percent of the vote. Hamilton has no Republican opposition in the general election.
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