Cuomo Backs Breakaway Democratic Senate Leader

ALBANY (AP) -

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is backing the leader of a breakaway faction of Democrats in the New York State Senate following his vow to return to the party fold after the fall’s election.

Cuomo on Monday formally endorsed Bronx Sen. Jeff Klein, who leads a five-member group of Senate Democrats who partnered with Republicans in 2013 to take control of the chamber.

Last month, under pressure from Democrats, Klein said his faction would end its power-sharing arrangement with Republicans to create a new coalition with traditional Democrats.

Klein faces a primary challenge from Oliver Koppell, a former lawmaker, New York City councilman and state attorney general.

In his endorsement, Cuomo called Klein a “strong partner” in state government.