Buffalo, NY - Chris Jacobs has declared victory in the NYS 60th District Senate race over Amber Small, replacing retiring Senator Mark Panepinto -- a race that could have a big impact on the makeup of Albany.

Lots of attention, lots of advertising, and lots of money went into the 60th District race. It marks what those Albany observers feel may be this pivotal race affecting that Senate side of the legislature. That is perhaps the only place where Republicans may be clinging to any real power in state politics.

Canisius College political science professor Michael Haselswerdt says the GOP really wanted this one.

"The Republicans have basically controlled the Senate for a long time. They're right on the edge now. This seat is being held by a Democrat at the moment. They would love to have it. And try to re-establish control without needing Democratic help which has happened over the last several years," he said.

That's a reference to some downstate Democratic state senators who actually sided with Republicans in recent years.

The GOP also wants to retain or pick up seats after suffering losses of key leaders due to corruption cases and illness.