“John DeFrancisco has decided to run for leader if Dean is forced to step aside,” said a source familiar with the situation.
“He’s not going to do anything to force Dean out, but if Dean goes on his own accord, he’s interested in becoming the new leader.”
DeFrancisco’s move came as Skelos, aware his arrest was imminent, was described as working to line up support for Flanagan among the 63-member Senate’s 32 Republicans.
“Dean is badly shaken by what’s going on, but he’s trying to put one of his own Long Island people in place as his successor,’’ a Senate insider said.
Several sources close to the Senate GOP said they expected Gov. Cuomo, who has worked closely with Skelos to legalize gay marriage and pass the anti-gun SAFE Act, to aid the selection of Flanagan.
Ken Lovett of the Daily News reports that Flanagan's support for Common Core could hurt him:
Flanagan is helped by the fact that he is from Long Island, which claims nine of the 32 Republicans in the chamber. He'd also likely start with the three votes from New York City, insiders say. But some say his previous support of the controversial Common Core curriculum could hurt him with some members.
Flanagan's support for Common Core might hurt him with some members of the state Senate but it surely doesn't hurt him with the Common Core-supporting governor.