Sen. James Alesi, R-Perinton, Monroe County, said tonight that he won’t seek re-election, saying he doesn’t want risk Republicans losing the seat in November.
“It’s not really about Jim Alesi,” he said in an interview with Gannett’s Albany Bureau. “It’s about not wanting to risk going head to head with another Republican and risking the seat in a new district.”
Alesi faced a primary challenge from Assemblyman Sean Hanna, R-Mendon, Monroe County.
Last year, Alesi was the first Senate Republican to say he would vote in favor of same-sex marriage, and was one of four Republican senators to support the bill.
But Alesi’s re-election prospects were viewed as dim because of a lawsuit he filed in 2011 against a couple in his district after he allegedly trespassed on the couple’s property. Capital Tonight reported earlier tonightabout Alesi’s decision.
Asked if the lawsuit was a key factor in his decision, Alesi said, “You could point to that. There’s absolutely no way of making that go away. I’ve apologized, and every time it comes up I reiterate my apology.”
Alesi said he would serve the remainder of his term, which runs until year’s end.