Senate Republicans and Democrats went all-in for control of the state Senate, emptying their massive war chests in an expensive bid for control of the chamber, campaign-finance records show.
Senate Republicans burned through a whopping $2.8 million in the final days before Election Day, spending heavily on key races across the state. Senate Democrats spent $1.1 million, records filed this week with the state Board of Elections show.
Republicans had $274,469 left in their campaign account; Democrats had a mere $1,405 and still had a $1.4 million debt to pay off from two years ago.
Democrats may actually have won the Senate majority on Election Day. Two undecided seats are likely to go to Democratic candidates, giving them on paper a 33-30 seat majority.
But a deal brokered Tuesday between Senate Republicans and the five-member Independent Democratic Conference will mean they will run a coalition government and split power, leaving Democrats again in the minority. Republicans currently hold a 33-29 seat majority; Democrats held a majority in 2009 and 2010.
Records show that Republicans spent the most on two races they lost: $730,426 on Republican Bob Cohen in Westchester County and $677,432 on Republican Sean Hanna in Monroe County.
Democrats also spent heavily on those races. The Democratic Senate Campaign Committee spent $676,530 on Democrat Ted O’Brien, who defeated Hanna, and $608,730 on Democrat George Latimer, who defeated Cohen.
Republicans were aided in the final days by $871,525 in transfers from individual senators’ accounts to the party’s committee, including $100,000 from Sen. Stephen Saland, R-Poughkeepsie, who is trailing by about 1,300 votes to Democrat Terry Gipson in his re-election bid.
They also took in $530,039 from corporations and unions, including $50,000 from the Healthcare Association of New York State and $50,000 from 1199 SEIU.