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Election brings shift in political landscape

If that happens, it means a big change in Albany and beyond.

Kyle Kotary, who runs a public relations firm called Empire Public Affairs, is familiar with the politics of the state Legislature, having worked with the previous minority in the Senate, as well as through his own political career. Kotary is a Democrat and a Bethlehem town councilman.

"For Democrats in New York, there is no longer an equal adversary, there are no more partisan excuses," Kotary said. "The buck really does stop with the Democrats."

Democrats will control New York's government for the first time since the Great Depression and Kotary said there will be pressure on his party to get things done. He warned against the pitfalls of a one-party rule, but said he thinks Democrats will ultimately work together and fix New York's problems.

"The challenge is going to be to see if what was once external inter-party fights won't become internal intra-party fighting," he said. "If they succumb to the temptation of one-party rule that's a recipe for disaster."

Borrowing from the victory speech of President-elect Barack Obama, Kotary said Democrats will be representing everyone in the state, even those who voted against them and are now responsible for representing 'both sides of the aisle."

The new majority will translate into an estimated 200 to 500 jobs at the capitol changing hands and will propel some tenured senators, such as Breslin, into more powerful positions.

With the power of the state government resting in the hands of Downstate representatives, such as Paterson from Harlem, Smith from Queens, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver from Manhattan, Kotary said Upstate residents will be watching the new majority.

"One of the things Upstaters will looking at is which Upstate senators will be put in the big committees," said Kotary.

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