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Senate leader says New York to make gains with Trump in White House

ALBANY – The top Republican in state government says New York stands poised to benefit from President-elect Donald Trump's ascendancy to the White House.

“President-elect Trump is actually a born and bred New Yorker, and that’s something we should be focusing on,’’ said Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, a Long Island Republican who is in Washington with other New York Republicans to celebrate Trump’s inauguration.

“I think he is really laser light focused on the things we are focused on: jobs and what we are doing for the middle class. He has proven very adept at listening and having a pulse of the public,’’ he added.

Flanagan, who Long Island’s Newsday recently reported is weighing whether to run for governor in 2018, spoke at a delegation gathering of New York Republicans at a Washington hotel. His brief remarks  followed an appearance by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at the morning event. About 500 people attended the gathering, which included state politicians, county party leaders, donors and lobbyists.

Flanagan backed Trump’s presidential run, though he found himself in October – less than a month before several key Senate GOP re-election contests – sharply rebuking controversial comments Trump made about women recorded during a 2005 interview with Access Hollywood. Flanagan’s strong support for Trump continued after the remarks.

The Senate GOP leader was overflowing with praise for Trump.

“A lot of people know how to play checkers, but not a lot of people know how to play chess, and even people who play chess don’t know how to play it very well. President Trump is a master at chess. He sees the long term and he’s not worrying whether he’s going to get someone’s pawn. He wants checkmate,’’ Flanagan said.

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