REBNY-backed candidates sweep midterm elections

Republicans -- many backed by Jobs for New York -- take state senate

From left: Sue Serino, Steven Spinola and Terrence Murphy
From left: Sue Serino, Steven Spinola and Terrence Murphy

It looks like New York City’s real estate industry got what it wanted this election season.

State Senate candidates north of the city who were favored by — and received campaign donations from — the Real Estate Board of New York-backed political action committee Jobs for New York, all secured a seat in the state senate. As of 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday, results indicated that Republicans won control of the state senate.

On the statewide level, New York’s real estate players have even more to be chuffed about. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat with broad industry support, easily won re-election, defeating his Republican opponent Rob Astorino. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli also defeated their GOP challengers and Kathy Hochul was elected lieutenant governor.

The governor will have to deal with some big real estate issues over the coming four years, including rent regulation, casino licensing and renter tax credit.

For the city’s real estate bigwigs, issues such as state-controlled rent regulation under the Urstadt Law and 421a tax abatements hung in the balance this election.

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Jobs for New York  supported Republican candidates in districts that cover parts of Westchester, Putnam, Columbia and Dutchess Counties. In the 40th District, Terrence Murphy beat Democrat Justin Wagner. Sue Serino unseated Democratic incumbent Terry Gipson in the 41st District and George Amadore beat Democratic incumbent Cecilia Tkaczyk in the 46th District.

Brad Hoylman, the incumbent in the 27th District who said he will propose a bill to create a “pied-à-terre tax,” was re-elected.

Warburg broker Jason Haber, who is highly involved with the Democratic Party in New York, hopped from event to event on Tuesday night. While many in the industry support the Urstadt Law, which keeps rent regulation under state control, he offered a different point of view, saying that the issue should be in the hands of the New York City Council.

Haber had no qualms about another Cuomo term, however.

“We know what we can expect from him,” he said. “Anyone in the real estate industry wants a good fiscal policy, we hope to get that.”

Representatives for REBNY weren’t immediately available for comment. The trade group did tweet at its PAC when the numbers came in, saying: “Congratulations to @Jobs4NY on running the table tonight!”

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