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Cuomo backs breakaway Democratic Senate leader

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— Gov. Andrew Cuomo is backing the leader of a breakaway faction of Democrats in the New York state Senate following his vow to return to the party fold.

Cuomo formally endorsed Bronx Sen. Jeff Klein on Monday.

Klein leads a five-member group of Senate Democrats who partnered with Republicans to take control of the chamber. Last month, under pressure from Democrats, Klein said his faction would end its power-sharing arrangement with Republicans to create a new coalition with traditional Democrats.

Klein faces a primary challenge from Oliver Koppell, a former lawmaker, New York City councilman and state attorney general.

In his endorsement, Cuomo called Klein a "strong partner" in state government.

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