(CNN) - Republicans appeared to regain control of the New York State Senate Monday, convincing two Democrats to support a new power-sharing coalition.
State Sens. Pedro Espada Jr. of the Bronx and Hiram Monserrate from Queens, both Democrats, voted with Republicans 32 to 30 to make the move.
"For the past five months, state government has been characterized by gridlock, paralysis, secretiveness, threats and partisan politics – all to the detriment of the people represented by me and my 61 colleagues," Espada said in a statement.
"Today begins a new state government built on reform, bipartisanship and consensus- and coalition-building."
Espada and Monserrate pledged to remain Democrats, while supporting the new coalition.
The deal seems to remove the Democratic majority from leadership five months after it took control of the chamber for the first time in more than 40 years. It also propels Espada into the post of president pro tempore.
Republican Sen. Dean Skelos would become majority leader and vice president, replacing Malcolm Smith, a Democrat.
"This is despicable," said Gov. David Paterson. "Now every week, because the Senate is close between the two major parties and someone doesn't like what's going on, we change leadership?"
State Democrats said nothing had changed.
"This was an illegal and unlawful attempt to gain control of the Senate and reverse the will of the people who voted for a Democratic majority," said Austin Shafran, a Smith spokesman. "The real Senate majority is anxious to get back to governing, and will take immediate steps to get us back to work."