Posted at: 09/19/2012 1:52 PM
| Updated at: 09/19/2012 9:29 PM
By: Bill Lambdin
Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he wants two Republican state senators from the area to win their primaries.
Saratoga Lake Sen. Roy McDonald is slightly behind in his primary race. Poughkeepsie Sen. Stephen Saland slightly ahead.
In both races absentee ballots are expected to determine the outcome.
Saland and McDonald may pay the ultimate political penalty for siding with Cuomo in support of same-sex marriage.
When Cuomo was pushing for needed votes last year to pass same-sex marriage, he says he discussed the political backlash with McDonald and Saland.
"And they voted for it anyway. That's really an act of political courage and I think that should be applauded. I don't believe we elect officials to always agree with us," said Cuomo
The close contests have already extracted a cost, not just for McDonald and Saland, but on any legislators nationwide, primarily Republican, who might consider angering their base voters by supporting same sex marriage.
The governor says he is considering a range of options to support McDonald and Saland in November, even the possibility of endorsing them over Democratic candidates in the senate districts.
One reporter asked if Cuomo doing more in the districts before last Thursday's primaries. The governor has a popularity rating of about 70 percent, although he doesn't think that would have necessarily helped the two Republicans who supported same-sex marriage.
"If you're voting against them because of marriage equality, my support is not going to help and you could argue that my support may have actually been a negative in that context," Cuomo said.