In October, state Sen. Malcolm Smith was introduced on the steps of City Hall as the next leader of the state Senate Democrats. The career of Smith's Senate colleague, Ada Smith, went in the opposite direction, however, as the nine-term legislator was narrowly defeated at the polls by political newcomer Shirley Huntley.The defeat came on the heels of a harassment conviction.Malcolm Smith rise to the post of Senate Minority Leader was mostly about back-room political brokering. In January, state Senate Minority Leader David Paterson announced that he would join Eliot Spitzer's gubernatorial ticket at a candidate for lieutenant governor. With a Spitzer win all but assured, the search was on for Paterson's replacement in the Senate. Smith's name immediately surfaced, despite the senator's attempts to downplay his interest in the job. In September, Smith's name surfaced again as reports swirled that a handful of senators were working behind the scenes to line up the votes necessary to succeed Paterson. Smith was ultimately successful and this week will take over as state senate minority leader.The real question in the Ada Smith senate race was whether Shirley Huntley had he political wherewithal to buck political inertia and defeat a longtime incumbent.
©2007 Community News Group
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