Senator-elect David Carlucci, one of nine (so far) freshmen slated to take office in January, refused during a CapTon interview this afternoon to commit to voting for Sen. John Sampson to retain his post as Democratic conference leader, telling me it would be “irresponsible” for him to pick a favorite for leader at this moment.

Carlucci, who was initially considered a long-shot to defeat his better-known Republican opponent, Rockland County Executive Scott Vanderhoef, received assistance from the DSCC – at least $188,129 as of the 11-day pre-general election filing.

But he told me he doesn’t feel “beholden” to anyone other than the people of the 38th SD whom he will soon represent in the Senate. At the age of 29, Carlucci will be the chamber’s youngest member. He also said whoever ends up as leader of the majority (assuming there is one) should see his or her power curtailed.

“I think we need a level playing field. We’ve got to get away from this spot where we have three men in a room. I don’t think that’s been in the interests of the public,” Carlucci said.

“…We need to get the three men in the room out of that room, into the sunlight, and make sure that all these things are negotiated in the public, in the eye of the public.

As far as who the leadership is, I haven’t made that decision yet. Look, I was just elected last week…I haven’t made any decisions yet….I like the people in the Democratic conference. I haven’t made any decisions yet. There’s a lot to think about, and I think it would be irresponsible for me to, you know, say who I was voting for right now.”