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Assembly speaker calls for special elections

Updated: 01/17/2014 2:15 PM
Created: 01/17/2014 2:05 PM WHEC.com
By: Associated Press

The state Legislature's top Democrat is calling for special elections to fill 11 open seats.

Two scandal-ensnared members of the state Assembly left this week, bringing the number of empty seats in that house to nine. Another two state senators left for other jobs.

State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver on Friday called for special elections as soon as possible, saying more than 1 million New York residents lack representation.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo can call special elections for those seats before voters head to the polls statewide in November. There was no immediate comment from the administration.

Buffalo-area Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak retired this week amid claims by female staffers that he harassed them. He denies the allegations.

Bronx Assemblyman Eric Stevenson lost his seat Monday when he was convicted on bribery charges.

Assemblyman Bill Reilich's seat is vacant. This is because he won the Greece Town Supervisor race.