Sens.-elect Ted O’Brien, D-Irondequoit, Monroe County, and George Latimer, D-Rye, told Gannett’s Albany Bureau yesterday that they have no intentions to join the four-member IDC. They urged the IDC to rejoin the 26-member Democratic conference, saying they all share the same progressive goals.
“I was elected as a Democrat, and I intend to conference with Democrats,” O’Brien said. “When you look at the mission and goals of what the IDC would like to accomplish, it’s a progressive Democratic group.”
Latimer and O’Brien were two major wins for Democrats as they seek to regain the Senate majority in January. They currently have 30 seats, and O’Brien was a net gain because the seat was held by Sen. James Alesi, R-Perinton, Monroe County.
Neither Latimer nor O’Brien said they were recruited by Sen. Jeff Klein, D-Bronx, who heads the IDC. They said the focus was on policy ideas.
“I think we have common public-policy beliefs,” Latimer said of the IDC. “I think we can work out a structural arrangement for how the chamber works.”
Latimer questioned whether the IDC could be a co-equal conference with Republicans and Democrats. He said ultimately there will need to be a vote for a Senate president—which requires 32 votes.
“When all this stuff comes together, if you do want a functioning government, then you’re going to have to have 32 people agree to put somebody in as temporary president of the Senate,” Latimer said.