Election may persuade Spano to run for Yonkers seat

A special election for an upstate New York Senate seat Tuesday may determine whether former state Sen. Nick Spano runs for re-election in the fall.

Republican James W. Wright announced his plan to resign in December, leaving his seat open. Republicans currently hold a slim two-seat majority in the state Senate. Political insiders believe if a Democrat wins the seat, freshman state Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers) may be able to make good on campaign promises. "It would put her in a very good position and perhaps it will answer some things on those commercials in terms of bringing back funds [to Westchester]," says Westchester Democratic Party Chairman Reginald Lafayette.

Spano, a former 10-term senator, lost the seat to Stewart-Cousins in 2006. She lost to him in 2004 by only 18 votes.

Republican political analyst Mike Edelman believes Spano will only run if a Republican gains Wright's seat, allowing them to keep power in the Senate.

"Just to go back there to be a state senator doesn't do you any good if you're used to being the guy who's in the room when the deals are being made," Edelman says of Spano's possible run to reclaim his seat.

The state Republican leadership has launched several attack ads aimed at Stewart-Cousins, who represents Yonkers, Greenburgh and Mount Pleasant, in a bid to gain her seat.

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