Four freshman Democratic state senators sat down with reporters this afternoon. Noticeably absent was Sen. David Carlucci, one of four breakaway senators who won’t conference with the Democratic minority.
The senators — Tim Kennedy of Buffalo, Michael Gianaris of Queens, Gustavo Rivera of the Bronx and Tony Avella of Queens — said they supported Minority Leader John Sampson.
“We are a body of 62 independently elected people and each of them makes their decisions how they want to caucus and were they want to sit,” said Gianaris,who is now heading up fundraising efforts for the Senate Democrats.
“As for what other senators choose to do is their business,” he added.
The independent Democrats, led by Jeff Klein of the Bronx, includes Carlucci, David Valesky of Syracuse and Diane Savino of Staten Island.
The freshman who held their media availaibility today in the minority conference room of the Capitol said they remain loyal to Sampson. They also said none of the senators from the bloc reached out to them to join.
“We’re less concerned about the internal politics up here,” Gianaris said. “Our goal is to achieve the change the people of the want and need.”
Rivera, who defeated former Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada in a primary, said things are different with the new minority conference.
“I voted for John Sampson and support him as leader, and we actually have to remember the very difficult situation he found himself in last year. I don’t think I have to remind anybody about my predecessors shenanigans. We had a conference who was, obviously, ill-prepapred to be in the majority. But this is a different conference.”