GOP’s grasp on state Senate, rent control at stake in special election

New York’s real-estate industry spent nearly $500,000 in recent weeks to boost GOP candidate Julie Killian in a special election on Tuesday that could determine whether Republicans maintain control of the state Senate.

The industry’s independent expenditure group — Jobs for New York — shelled out $469,000 in the weeks leading up to the election pitting Killian against Democratic Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer in Westchester’s 37th Senate District, which runs from Yonkers to Bedford.

There’s a lot on the line for those who own rental property.

Rent regulations expire next year and the GOP-run Senate has been a staunch ally in pushing for vacancy decontrol and market reforms.

A state Legislature with both chambers controlled by Democrats — and with a Democratic governor — would almost certainly tilt pro-tenant and toward stricter regulations and price controls.

Sources in the real-estate industry said the Senate GOP has also been a friend in keeping a lid on taxes.

If Killian defeats Mayer, Republicans would maintain their 32-31 majority in the 63-seat Senate.

If Mayer wins, Democrats would have a 32-seat numerical majority — but would be able to control the chamber only if conservative Brooklyn Democrat Simcha Felder, who has been caucusing with the GOP, returns to his own party’s caucus.

Democrats hold a nearly 30,000-voter enrollment edge in the district, and internal polls show Mayer comfortably ahead.

In 2016, Democrat George Latimer defeated Killian 55 to 44 percent, but that was in a general election in a presidential year with a larger voter turnout.

The seat became vacant when Latimer became Westchester County executive.

Republicans have run a hard-hitting campaign against Mayer.

She had been counsel to the state Senate the last time it was run by Democrats, serving as a top legal aide to leaders Malcolm Smith and John Sampson, both of whom were subsequently convicted of crimes.

Mayer was not personally implicated, but the GOP has sought to tie her to the two crooks, as well as for mishandling sexual-harassment complaints.

With anti-Trump sentiment running high, Democrats tried to link Killian to a president who is deeply unpopular in his home state.

The Democrats and the Working Families Party boast of having the largest volunteer field operation and voter outreach for a legislative race ever, including knocking on 70,000 doors.

Gov. Cuomo stumped for Mayer, while former GOP Gov. George Pataki came out for Killian.

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