Flanagan's Win Maps Road to Success for LI Candidates

By: Bruce Gyory
– Newsday

Long Island cast a collective sigh this week, when John Flanagan was elected State Senate majority leader. The region feared it would lose a key leadership position in Albany to an upstate lawmaker.

Flanagan (R-East Northport) no doubt remembered the painful lessons of 2002, when he lost by a single vote the race to become the Assembly's minority leader. So he systematically secured support from outside the Island, given that only nine of the Senate's 33-member GOP majority comes from Nassau and Suffolk counties.

But what does his surprise election mean for Long Island's long-term odds of winning statewide races? His methodical and organized approach to building support across the state for his victory offers a lesson to future Island statewide candidates.

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