From the morning memo:

When it comes to governing, Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos has worked well Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The Senate GOP has allowed votes on key legislative victories for the governor like same-sex marriage and gun control. But with the statewide campaign taking center stage soon, the Nassau County lawmaker is backing Cuomo’s general election opponent.

“I’m a full-throated Republican so I support Rob Astorino — always have been,” Skelos said at the state GOP convention on Thursday.

If there were any overarching themes for Republicans at their state convention, it was unity — a stark change from 2010 when the party was divided on its gubernatorial candidates. Having Republican lawmakers in the Senate on board could provide important support for Astorino.

“We’re all rowing the boat in the same direction,” Astorino said following his speech on Thursday to Republican delegates. “It’s beneficial for me, it’s benefical for them. I mean, we’re going to win as a team or we’re going to lose as a team.”

State Party Chairman Ed Cox says Skelos still has to work with the reality that is Albany — and that means a divided government where Republicans are outnumbered.

“He’s always been there in the political side of it,” Cox said. “When he’s governing he’s got to make the sausage, work with the other leaders whether Democrat or Republican to get things done for the state of New York.”

Even though Skelos is predicting that Senate Republicans will pick up three to four seats if not get an outright majority, he does not believe that will impact the majority coalition with the Independent Democratic Conference.

“I want to keep that intact,” Skelos said. “I think it’s worked well. We’ve had some differences of opinion. But that’s good. The end result is getting results and I think that’s worked well.”

But keeping that majority coalition together may provide difficult for Skelos. Senator Greg Ball is not going to run for another term, opening up the Hudson Valley Senate seat as a potential pick up for Democrats. And there’s an open seat on Long Island thanks to Chuck Fuschillo’s departure at the end of last year. Nevertheless, Skelos is confident the seat can be kept in the GOP column.

“This is going to be a huge Republican year,” Skelos said.