Even Gov. Andrew Cuomo would get a new senator under legislative lines proposed yesterday by a state task force—and he’d go from the liberal Democratic Sen. Suzi Oppenheimer to the conservative Republican Sen. Greg Ball.
Oppenheimer, who is retiring at year’s end, had long represented the upscale town.
But now if the maps hold up and Ball is re-elected—and he plans to run in November—Cuomo would be represented by one of the more controversial and outspoken members of the Senate.
The two have some history. Ball was among those who were contemplating whether to support legalizing same-sex marriage last year. Ball ultimately said the measure didn’t have enough religious protections and voted no.
Also, in a surprise move early last year, Ball was tapped by Cuomo to serve on his SAGE Commission that is looking at government consolidations. Ball had been critical of the panel.
Ball is also the most vocal Senate Republican in opposition to hydrofracking —something Cuomo is contemplating to allow in New York.
In 2010, Cuomo endorsed Ball’s Democratic opponent Michael Kaplowitz. Ball won.
Ball didn’t directly address representing the state’s top official in a news release yesterday, but he did heap praise on the Democratic governor—something Ball has done regularly since Cuomo took office.
“For me nothing will change,” Ball said. “My focus before and after redistricting will continue to be on job creation, lowering taxes and working with Governor Cuomo to get New York State back on track.”
In the Assembly, Cuomo’s representative would stay the same: Assemblyman Robert Castelli, R-Goldens Bridge.
Asked this morning if he knew if his own representatives would change, Cuomo said, “I have not looked.”
Perhaps he’ll wait until Ball shows up at his door in the fall asking for his vote in the November elections.