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Group threatens to back primaries against rebel Democrats

ALBANY — With Thanksgiving over, the intraparty battle among state Senate Democrats is heating up again.

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, a national group focused on electing Democratic state legislatures across the country, is threatening to help back primaries in the coming year against a group of eight breakaway New York state Senate Democrats.

Meanwhile, longtime Democratic activist Bertha Lewis has recorded several automated telephone calls in support of the Independent Democratic Conference; some of its members already face potential primary challenges next year.

Jessica Post, executive director of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, said her group would prefer the eight-member state Senate Independent Democratic Conference break its coalition with the GOP and form a new one with the mainline Dems.

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But short of that, her group is not ruling out backing primaries against the rogue Dems in 2018.

“Our mission . . . is to elect more Democrats in order to gain control of legislatures and advance Democratic values,” Post said.

“Right now in the New York Senate, the IDC is standing in the way of these goals.”

On the flip side, Lewis, the founder of the Black Leadership Action Coalition and the past head of the now-defunct ACORN, has recorded several automated phone messages urging New Yorkers to support the IDC.

“As one election season ends and another begins, we all need to be thankful of those elected officials who honor us with true independence,” Lewis says in one call.

She said the IDC “has been delivering for the people of our state without any partisan fighting and personal attacks, these things that plague our current political environment.”

The fight for control of the Senate — and the push to reunify the fractured Senate Dems — promises to be one of the nastiest of the coming election season.

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