ALBANY -- Republicans and Democrats are in a pitched and expensive battle for control of the state Senate, and Election Day will help determine who will win the majority in the closely divided house.
Key races are in the Hudson Valley, Long Island and western New York, and the state's fiscal policies, social issues and immigration positions are at stake depending on who runs the Senate next year.
Republicans hold a one-seat majority only because a Democrat, Simcha Felder of Brooklyn, sits with them.
But there's another twist: There's a Independent Democratic Conference that has previously aided Republicans in the majority.
Now with Senate control on the line, the IDC may play kingmaker. And the conference is growing: It had five members earlier this year, but now it's up to seven members in the 63-seat conference.
On Monday, the IDC added its seventh member, Sen. Jesse Hamilton, a Democrat from Brooklyn.