Click HERE to see the Chairman's op-ed as it originally appeared in the New York Post.
A Month after Election Day, Republicans have finally won a majority in the state Senate come January, thanks to last week's Democratic concession in Erie County and a GOP win in a Nassau County court.
This victory, a primary focus of our election-year efforts, ends two years of one-party rule in Albany. Combined with other victories, it gives us a base on which to build the strong and principled Republican Party New York needs.
The win hardly erases the sting of Election Day, when the historic nationwide Republican wave failed to sweep some excellent GOP candidates into statewide offices here in New York.
Yet that wave came up short in all of the 10 "bluest" states. Ranked from "bluest" to "least blue" (as determined by historic voting behavior), these are: Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, Hawaii, Vermont, Connecticut, Maryland, Illinois, Delaware and California.
Of the 38 statewide contests in the "Blue 10," including nine races for governor and nine for the US Senate, Republicans won just two -- President Obama's former Senate seat in Illinois and Vermont's lieutenant governorship.
And of these states' 20 legislative bodies, only New York's Senate will be in Republican hands next year.
Registered Democrats in New York outnumber Republicans two to one, making party-building efforts challenging. Without a statewide officeholder, we're building from the ground up and brick-by-brick, using GOP victories this year and last as a solid foundation.
In 2009, Republicans erased several election cycles' worth of losses at the town and county levels, including stunning county-executive victories in Nassau and (two-to-one Democratic) Westchester counties. In early 2010, in an equally stunning "flip" from Democrat to Republican, the fiscally conservative county executive of Suffolk County became the 14th Republican out of the 17 county executives in the state.
These Republicans preside over the major counties, Albany excepted, outside of New York City. They constitute a powerful future base for the party; as individuals, they're a prime source of future statewide candidates with serious governing experience.
Last month, we also flipped six congressional seats (a seventh is still disputed) from Democratic to Republican hands, contributing more seats to retaking the US House than any other state. And Assembly Republicans had their most successful election in three decades, making Republicans influential players in New York's lower house and filling our bench with great future candidates for higher offices.
Compared to October 2009, vast swaths of New York are now painted red with fiscally conservative county executives and new, energetic members of Congress and the state Senate and Assembly, as well as county legislatures and town and city councils. These new GOP officeholders are eager to make their marks and to build their political support -- and in doing so, the party's base. Plus, several Republican candidates who lost this year still made themselves excellent names, and I have no doubt that some will run again and win.
One-party rule in state government can be disastrous, especially when that party's power rests on special interests dependent on governmental largess. After the Democrats won complete control of Albany in 2008, the results were unmitigated ethical, fiscal and economic disasters. A strong and principled Republican Party with power in Albany is key to a better New York.
This year, New York Republicans didn't get the quick fix of winning statewide races as we did in 1994, when New York was a lighter shade of blue and Republicans won the governor and attorney general races. But building from the bottom up, we are on a two-election roll toward being a stronger and more permanent political force with the values and capabilities to help turn a deep blue and economically stagnant New York to a more productive purple.
Ed Cox is chairman of the New York State Republican Party.