You knew this was going to happen…

Andrew Russo, one of three Republicans who have announced challenges to Democratic Sen. Dave Valesky in the 49th SD, released a statement this afternoon slamming the Syracuse-area lawmaker for his connections to Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr.

Andrew Russo

Russo said the “very serious” charges brought against the majority leader by AG Andrew Cuomo “compromise Senator Espada’s ability to serve in the State Senate, and once again show Democrats aren’t serious about cleaning up the corruption in Albany.”

“Albany incumbent David Valesky, who sits at the same Democrat leadership table as Senator Espada and voted to make him Majority Leader, should urge him to step aside from that position of leadership immediately,” Russo said.

Espada, as you’ll recall, obtained his leadership post in last summer’s Senate coup. His refusal to give up the position, as well as the title of temporary Senate president, which is key in the order of succession, was part of caused the 31-day stalemate.

In the end, the Democrats agreed to let Espada remain majority leader as part of the deal to woo him back to the conference.

Expect a lot more of this sort of thing from the Republicans, even though they used to consort with Espada. They will no doubt seek to exploit this one to the hilt as they head into the re-match for control of the chamber.