From the Morning Memo:

Poised to fall into a 23-member minority in less than two months, Senate Republicans have a leadership fight on their hands.

Sen. John Flanagan, the outgoing majority leader, is campaigning to stay atop the soon-to-be-diminished Republican conference, making a public show of support that he’s received from Republican Sen. Fred Akshar.

Sen. Cathy Young, meanwhile, has picked up the support of institutions that have supported a GOP majority over the years, including the Real Estate Board of New York, the Rent Stabilization Association and the New York Rifle And Pistol Association. On Monday, Rochester-area Sen. Rich Funke said he would support Young for leader over Flanagan.

The leadership vote has aspects of what has been a downstate-upstate tension in a conference that is normally publicly united on issues like property taxes. But cracks in the Republican unity first began to show in 2015, when Majority Leader Dean Skelos stepped down after he was charged with using his office to help his son get a job.

The subsequent leadership fight between Flanagan, a Long Island lawmaker, and Sen. John DeFrancisco of central New York brought those differences in style as well as substance to the surface.

The conference had increasingly moved further away from public cooperation with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose first term and parts of his second term were marked by a productive working relationship with the Senate GOP majority.

But facing political pressure from the left in New York to aid his own party’s takeover of the Senate, Cuomo’s relationship with Senate Republicans soured and devolved to public sniping.

Working with Cuomo also strained the coalition for Republicans in New York, who flinched at the GOP-led Senate approving measures like gun control and increases in the state’s minimum wage.

The Republican conference next year will not just be smaller, but have have reduced downstate ranks. Only three Republicans will represent Long Island’s nine Senate districts next year: Flanagan, Sens. Phil Boyle and Ken LaValle. The conference will have only one New York City member, Sen. Andrew Lanza.