Dem leader backs Smith in NY Senate

November 8, 2008 3:39:58 PM PST
A Democratic official says New York Sen.-elect Hiram Monserrate will support Senate Democratic leader Malcolm Smith for majority leader, all but sealing the Democrats' majority on Jan. 1 and improving Smith's chances of running it.The Democrat spoke on the condition on anonymity because the official wasn't authorized to comment before the announcement.

Monserrate is one of the so-called gang of four that has flirted with siding with Republicans, despite losing the number of seats needed to do it in Tuesday's elections.

Their play boosted their chances for lucrative committee chairmanships and to gain a stronger voice on Latino issues.