I feel like we are all in a bit of a suspended state, waiting to see what happens with the elections next month. How will the epic Trump meltdown influence state contests? For the Senate at least, control hangs in the balance. Will Democrats pick up enough seats to form the Majority? That certainly seems much more likely now, but of course the makeup of the Senate is never that simple. It will likely take a deal to form the majority and without knowing who holds what cards, it’s tough to determine what that deal will look like.

Around the time of the September 13th Primary, numerous people asked what exactly went on between the Senate Democrats, The Independent Democratic Conference and State Senator Adriano Espaillat to make the likely next State Senator from Washington Heights, Marisol Alcantara, join forces with IDC Leader Jeff Klein. Turns out, it’s an interesting backstory with a handful of twists and turns.

Several months ago, IDC Chief of Staff John Emerick left the conference to form his own campaign organization. The name of that organization is Hamilton Campaign Network, which is a sister Company to the MirRam Group, as you can probably tell by the name. One of MirRam’s founding partners, Luis Miranda is the father of Lin-Manuel Miranda who created and starred in “Hamilton.” Perhaps you’ve heard of it? Turns out, Emerick’s Company helped Adriano Espaillat during his successful run in the Democratic Primary for Congress back in June. The Hamilton Campaign Network in partnership with MirRam provided a “soup to nuts” list of services for Espaillat including polling, management, direct mail, radio and TV. They also brought in Red Horse Strategies for design of the field operation. Klein himself, through his group contributed $50,000. So, everyone gets a little credit for the big win. Espaillat had always used Red Horse and MirRam in previous campaigns, in part because of a close relationship with Miranda. He never used Parkside Group, which many of the mainline Senate Democrats use.

As far back as April, Emerick and others reached out to City Comptroller Scott Stringer and Micah Lasher for an endorsement of Espaillat before the Congressional Primary. Stringer could help deliver the Upper West Side of Manhattan portion of the district, and in exchange Espaillat could consider helping Lasher who wanted to run for Espaillat’s Senate seat. Well, the endorsement never happened. Some even say Stringer “reneged.” Although Lasher, reached by text on the high holy day of Yom Kippur ( which he was quick to point out to me ) said there were all kinds of discussions, yet no deal, but nor was there any deal broken.  Needless to say when it came time for Lasher to seek Espaillat’s support the answer ( obviously ) was “no.”

Enter Marisol Alcanatara, who had a good relationship with Espaillat and City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, for whom Alcantara worked as Chief of Staff. Coming off his primary victory and sensing he could play kingmaker in upper Manhattan, Espaillat endorsed Alcantara in July along with Carmen De La Rosa to run against incumbent Guillermo Linares in the Assembly. About a week later Democrats gathered in Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention. Alcantara approached Democratic Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins on the floor of the convention and received what some described as a bit of a cold shoulder. Some Democrats had already committed to supporting Lasher for Senate in the 31st District. On the floor, sources say Alcantara pulled over members of the Nurses Association, where she had once worked as a union organizer, and asked them to take a photo of her with Stewart-Cousins. What happened next is a matter of some dispute. Some claim Stewart-Cousins “called the photo back,” by asking the Nurses Association not to make it public, and they agreed. The idea being not to risk any public misrepresentation of who the Democrats were supporting in the State Primary. Officially, the party stayed neutral. However, a spokesperson for Stewart-Cousins categorically denies that ever happened, and also claims the Minority Leader remembers her interaction with Alcantara as nothing but pleasant.

Fast forward a few weeks, Stewart-Cousins reaches out to Alcantara and offers to deliver an endorsement from the pro-choice group Emily’s List, but in exchange she must sign a pledge to conference with the Senate Democrats. Alcantara declined claiming there were strings attached. Stewart-Cousins also disputes this. Meantime, after doing just four pieces of direct mail for Alcantara, Hamilton Group polled the district and determined that Alcantara was five points ahead in the race. The IDC decided to go all in with the same coalition of consultants ( minus Red Horse ) that helped Espaillat win the primary. All told the IDC provided $534,000 to Alcantara’s campaign.

So, why did Alcantara decide to go with the IDC? There are a lot of reasons, besides just the most glaring example which is money and support. Alcantara explained some of this to Politico last month. IDC member Diane Savino played a big role in helping recruit Alcantara, for example.

Senate Democrats also point to her warm remarks about Stewart-Cousins in an interview with my colleague Errol Louis on “Inside City Hall” last month as evidence there is no beef. Although when I went back and reviewed the tape, Alcantara merely said Stewart-Cousins had called to congratulate her after the primary win and that it was “very nice.” Which actually sounded rather chilly, if you ask me. In fact, it sorta made me uncomfortable just watching it.

I guess the ultimate conclusion is that alliances pop up and recede all the time in politics. And sometimes those backstories can be rather entertaining.