Bronx dems keep their seats

The Democrats, although not very popular elsewhere, dominated Election Night in the Bronx. On Tuesday, November 2, the party won all 19 races affecting Bronx County.

Michael Benedetto handily won his Assembly seat leading the 82nd district with 73 percent of the vote. This will be his fourth term as assemblyman.

“I was very gratified with the election results,” he said. “It was a strong win and I think it says an awful lot about what the people think of me.”

For the next two years he will work to ensure that the state Education Department is fully funded. He said he also plans to focus on finding a permanent funding source for the Metropolitan Transit Authority, so that it will not face budget cuts that lead to reduced services to the community.

“We’re going to see a more conservative Albany. I don’t know if that’s the best thing, but the voters have made it clear,” Benedetto said.

While Benedetto will remain a part of the majority party in the Assembly, Senator Jeff Klein, who won his seat with 67 percent of the vote, may not be as lucky.

With several State Senate races still undecided, the makeup of the Senate could be heading for a leadership deadlock.

If that happened, Klein’s current role as deputy majority leader could switch hands, or parties.

“I’m still optimistic the Democrats will hold onto the Senate,” he said. “But if they can’t then hopefully it will lead to a bipartisan coalition, which isn’t bad. The important thing is we need to get back to work. The time of political bickering has got to end. The only way to success is to work hand-in-hand in accomplishing the business of the day.”

During his next term Klein plans to fight excessive spending in Albany so he can fund the local community programs he has supported during his first three terms.

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