Sunday read: The IDC – where are they now?

Sunday read: The IDC – where are they now?

Editorial credit: Jorge Estrellado /

By City and State NY | September 24, 2023

Of the eight former state Senate Democrats who broke with their party to caucus with Republicans, three are involved in public service (two in the Adams administration), two are lobbyists, one was jailed and none are in elected office. But one is attempting a comeback. Tony Avella, who was ousted from the state Senate by Jon Liu in 2018, is once again challenging Republican Vickie Paladino for a Queens City Council seat.

The early 2010s were a rough time for New York Democrats. With Democrats still recovering first from the 2009 coup and then the loss of their short-lived majority, and right after former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s first term began, four Democratic senators in 2011 formed the Independent Democratic Conference. The renegade group formed after Republicans gained control of the state Senate, intending to break away from the then Democratic Minority Leader John Sampson, who was facing corruption allegations, for which he was later found guilty in 2015. The IDC caucused with Republicans, and this break from their party sparked controversy as they agitated the New York political scene with many of their state Senate colleagues accusing them of attempting to seize power.

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