The Independent Democratic Conference has gained a fifth member in the continuing battle over which party will run New York’s Senate.
An IDC spokesman says Sen. Malcolm Smith, a Queens Democrat, will join the breakaway Democrats.
The Independent Democratic Conference was created in 2010. The members said they wouldn’t follow the Democratic leaders who reigned over a chaotic two-year tenure in which the Democrats were in charge. That time was marked by power struggles pushed by the Republican minority and dissident Democrats. At the time, Smith was a top Democratic leader.
The Senate’s majority will be decided after two races too close to call on election night are decided in court.
Republicans held a 33-29 majority going into the elections, but neither party has clear control now.