Republicans in the state Senate will be in the minority next year, losing control of the chamber they had for a decade. Now, some members of the party and their allies are pushing for a change in GOP leadership.
"With the loss of all the Republican Senate seats on Long Island, the power base has shifted. It's no longer on Long Island, it's upstate," said Tom King of the Rifle and Pistol Association.
King is backing Senator Cathy Young of western New York to replace Long Island Senator John Flanagan, as the top Republican in the chamber. King said it's a matter of giving upstate representation a prominent voice in Albany.
"We need an upstate leader in the Senate, even if she is the minority leader, to rebuild and focus on 2020 and try to get some of the seats back," said King.
Republican's upstate leader was Senator Joe Bruno, who stepped down in 2008. Since then, conservatives have fumed at the passage of gun control legislations like the SAFE Act.
"I think almost all of the politicians in New York have lost an upstate focus. Look at what's going on with the economies, the SAFE Act, and all of the towns, the infrastructure; everything is kind of going to pot in upstate New York," said King.
So far, at least two Republican lawmakers have called for Flanagan to step aside: Senators Rich Funke and Robert Ortt. Though Flanagan does have the backing of Senator Fred Akshar.
Both appeared together earlier this week.
"I am so grateful, so grateful to have Senator Akshar as part of our team. He has been extraordinary, instrumental, pun intended, a great team player," said John Flanagan, Senate Republican leader.
Flanagan was in Albany on Tuesday but would not speak on camera.
"I believe I am the one candidate who can unite upstate and downstate and chart a credible path to a future Republican majority," said Flanagan in a statement.
Democrats could have as many as 40 seats in the 63-member chamber when the Senate reconvenes in January.