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Can Republicans retake control in New York State Senate?

For just over 10 minutes on Wednesday morning, Senate Minority Leader John Flanagan answered virtually the same, albeit differently worded question over and over again from reporters: How can you retake the majority amid a wave of departures?

Flanagan insists he isn’t waving the white flag.

In the gaggle, Flanagan pointed to his time as a Republican member of the Assembly, where Democrats hold a virtually un-killable majority.

“I’ve been here 33 years. I’ve spent 19 of 33 years in the minority,” Flanagan said. “I know what it means to be in the minority. I know what it means to fight, to claw back, to get things done.”

It’s going to be a steep hill to climb. The Republican conference of 2021 is guaranteed to look vastly different from the lawmakers who took office for the 2019-20 term. Already, eight lawmakers have either announced their plans to retire, have resigned, are planning to resign or running for Congress.

Flanagan believes Democratic overreach on issues like criminal justice law changes and taxes will help propel Republicans back to power.

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