New York Voters Keep State Senate in GOP Control


New York voters elected five new state lawmakers Tuesday in special elections — three of whom will replace politicians convicted of corruption.

In a Southern Tier Senate race, Broome County Undersheriff Fred Akshar, a Republican, claimed 79 percent of the vote to beat Democrat Barbara Fiala, a former county executive and motor vehicles commissioner. Akshar replaces Republican Thomas Libous, who was convicted of lying to the FBI.

In a state Senate matchup in Brooklyn, Democratic Assemblywoman Roxanne Persaud won 90 percent of the vote to defeat Republican Jeffrey Ferretti. She will take the seat formerly held by Democrat John Sampson, also convicted of lying to the FBI.

Three Assembly races were settled in the special election.

Queens Democrat Alicia Hyndman beat Republican Scherie Murray 93 percent to 7 percent to succeed Democrat William Scarborough, convicted of pocketing campaign money and filing false expense claims. “Next stop Albany!” Hyndman said in a celebratory Twitter message.

In a Syracuse-area district, Democrat Pamela Hunter beat Republican John Sharon 54 percent to 36 percent. She replaces former Democratic Assemblyman Sam Roberts, who joined the administration of Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “I said if you walk with me, we’ll go down this path and we will win,” Hunter told supporters Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Democrat Pamela Harris won 63 percent of the vote in a Coney Island Assembly district to defeat Republican Lucretia Regina-Potter. The district’s previous representative, Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny, a Democrat, stepped down for a job in the private sector.

Tuesday’s special elections won’t change the balance of power in the Legislature, where the Senate is controlled by Republicans and Democrats hold an overwhelming majority in the Assembly.