Assembly Majority Leader Ron Canestrari, D-Cohoes, Albany County, announced on Tuesday his plans to retire at year’s end, ending a 37-year political career and leaving a void for one of the top positions of the Legislature.
Canestrari, 68, who has served as majority leader for the past five years and in the Assembly for 24 years, said he thought it was time to “turn the page begin a new chapter in my life,” Gannett’s Aaron Scholder reports
“It was a very difficult decision. This place can be addictive,” he said.
Canestrari, whose district covers parts of Saratoga, Albany and Rensselear counties, said he would not get involved in deciding who would replace him in both his district and as majority leader.
There are several names being floated, including Assemblyman Joseph Morelle, D-Irondequoit, Monroe County; Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples, D-Buffalo; and Assemblyman Robin Schiminger, D-Kenmore, Erie County.
“There are a number of people I’m sure who are interested and can do the job very, very well. The institution will survive and things will go well,” Canestrari said.
Canestrari, who previously served as mayor of Cohoes for 13 years, serves as the chair of the Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee as well as previously serving as chair of the Assembly Committee on Higher Education, where he said he believes his greatest accomplishments were.
Canestrari said there was no main deciding factor as to why he was retiring, however he did say he plans to travel more once he leaves office.
“I’ve postponed a couple of trips because of special sessions or other activities, and I don’t feel any longer that I want to postpone things,” he said.
He’s the latest Assembly member from the Albany area. Democratic Assemblymen Jack McEneny and Bob Reilly are retiring.