Same sex marriage an issue for some voters
The issue of same sex marriage has become a hot button topic in several State Senate campaigns here in New York. Our Zack Fink has more on how a candidate's stance on the issue could actually cost them the vote.
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NEW YORK STATE -- Steve Saland, who was elected to the State Senate over two decades ago, is now hanging on for his political life after voting for same sex marriage.
Roy McDonald was first elected to the Senate in 2008, after serving in the Assembly. He, too, faced a primary challenge from the right and the results have yet to be determined.
"I believe in Senator Saland's case. There is evidence that the vote did hurt him in the election. Senator McDonald also," Governor Andrew Cuomo said.
The historic gay marriage vote on the last day of the legislative session in 2011 came down to the Senate and whether republicans who control the chamber could provide enough votes.
After months of backchannel negotiations, four republican senators voted with the democrats. Jim Alessi, who is not running for re-election, Mark Grisanti, who won his primary, and Saland and McDonald, who may lose their seats.
Cuomo said, "It would be disappointing for me. It was a vote that I urged they support and they take. They did. And although we discussed it at length, that they could lose their seats, they both went ahead. It would be sad for me."
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who used his money and influence to urge yes votes from republican senators, was asked if more could have been done to protect them.
"Maybe all of us could have done more. Unfortunately, what you see reflects view of low turnout voters. Not reflective of general public opinion," Bloomberg said.
Both Saland and McDonald could conceivably run on the independence line if they lose their primaries. Governor Cuomo did not rule out endorsing either of them in the general election if they choose to do that.