- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 18, 2015

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A western New York lawmaker has switched parties, changing his affiliation from Republican to Democrat to increase the Assembly’s Democratic already overwhelming majority.

Assemblyman John Ceretto announced his party change on Tuesday. He represents a district that includes Niagara Falls, Grand Island and parts of North Tonawanda and was first elected in 2010 as a Republican.

Ceretto says his switch isn’t about party labels and that he’s often found his values are “more in step” with Democrats. Ceretto split with most of his fellow Republicans in the Assembly when he supported bills to raise the minimum wage and extend paid family leave.

The 150-seat Assembly now has 104 Democrats and 43 Republicans, plus three open seats.

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