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Gang of Three Conform for One

Dissident Dems agree to support Malcolm Smith to head New York Senate

Thursday, December 04, 2008

It's the first time Democrats take control of the chamber in more than 40 years.

Bronx Senators Ruben Diaz Senior and Pedro Espada Junior along with Brooklyn Senator Carl Krueger were being wooed by Republicans to support their agenda and abandon Smith.

But after a closed-door meeting today, sources say the senators were promised influential posts and committee assignments.

Smith's spokesman, Hank Sheinkopf, says the support will make a big difference.

SHEINKOPF: Real rules changes, an African American as leader of the Senate, the consequences are extraordinary, Democrats in charge and it's a historic shift in New York state politics.

The Senate is expected to vote in Smith as majority leader in January.

Democrats now hold a slim majority with 32 seats compared to 30 for the Republicans.

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