New York Assembly Speaker Now Calling for Special Elections

Jan 17, 2014


Some top New York state lawmakers seem to be changing their minds over whether to call special elections for a growing number of vacancies in the legislature. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver now says he wants voters to pick new legislators to fill 11 vacancies.

Speaker Silver, had said special elections to fill the nine vacancies in the Assembly and two in the Senate might be pointless, since new members could not be seated before the budget is done, and that he did not expect the legislature after late March to do much work during the rest of the year. That would have meant the 1.8 million people in those districts would not have a new representative in office for another year.

The Speaker has now changed his position. In a statement, Silver now says he believes it is “important” for special elections to be held. And he says members of the Assembly and Senate “work hard throughout the year serving their constituents both in their communities and in Albany during session.”

Governor Cuomo, who previously said he wasn’t planning to hold any special elections, citing the cost, now say he’s looking at it.