Assemblyman Joel Miller, R-Poughkeepsie, said today that he will retire at year’s end after first being elected in 1994.
“There comes a time,” Miller said in a telephone interview. “There’s too many people who stayed long after they should have left. There comes a time when you make room for new blood.”
Miller has been an outspoken member of the Legislature, often knocking both parties for the dysfunction that has long plagued Albany. Miller is a fiscal conservative, but was one of four Republican Assembly members to vote in favor of same-sex marriage in 2007 — the first time it came to the floor.
Miller said he has become sick of what he sees as corruption in Albany.
“Frankly, it’s become very frustrating,” he said. “I continue tilting at windmills and the windmills win.”
He continued that, “I am frustrated by the constant corruption that I see. I don’t even think the politicians understand when they sell out because someone gave them a contribution, when they vote for the party line –- sort of like just following orders.”
Miller said he has quietly told party leaders in recent weeks of his decision. Republican Kieran Lalor, of Wappingers Falls, Dutchess County, is planning to run for Miller’s seat. Lalor ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2008.
Miller’s announcement comes the same day that a legislative task force will release new district maps for the state’s 213 legislative seats.
Miller said his district will change, but it would actually become a more Republican district. He said the new lines – which he saw for the first time this morning – didn’t impact his decision.
The 102nd District is expected to move north, he said, with the town of Poughkeepsie – currently in his district – as the southern point.