Senate Republicans Face A String Of Retirements

Three Members of the New York State Senate announced last week that they would not seek re-election to their respective posts.

On April 27, longtime Sen. John Bonacic (R-Mt. Hope) announced that he would retire from the Senate at the end of this year. Sen. Bonacic, 75, has served in the Senate since 1999, and has become known for supporting upstate casino development and for his liberal positions on certain social issues.

On April 25, Sen. Kathy Marchione (R-Halfmoon) announced that she would not seek re-election to the Senate this fall. As many readers will recall, Sen. Marchione defeated then-Sen. Roy McDonald in a hard-fought 2012 Republican primary after Sen. McDonald voted in favor of same-sex “marriage” in 2011. In announcing her decision, Sen. Marchione said: “After a great deal of careful consideration, reflection, discussion with my family and prayer, I have decided to not seek re-election this fall… I will continue being a strong, outspoken, passionate supporter of efforts to make New York State an even better, more affordable place. My journey in elective office as New York State Senator at year’s end will conclude where it all began, with the guiding grace of scripture: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”’” Sen. Marchione added that her responsibilities as primary caregiver for her elderly mother played a major role in her decision to retire.

On April 26, Deputy Senate Majority Leader John DeFrancisco (R-DeWitt) announced that he, too, would not run for re-election. Sen. DeFrancisco, 71, has served in the Senate since 1993, and has recently suspended his campaign for Governor of New York. The Senator had previously indicated that he was unlikely to seek re-election if his gubernatorial bid failed, so his announcement was not a surprise. In explaining his decision to retire from the Senate, Sen. DeFrancisco said, “‘The state needs a fundamental change. I can do my job and do the best I can and get some good things to happen in the Senate as a senator, but that’s just cutting around the edges. And cutting around the edges isn’t enough anymore. That’s why I’m not running. I want to make a fundamental change and if I can’t then I’ve served my time. I’ve run 17 times for office, 13 for the Senate. I’ve served as well as I can possibly serve.’”

These three announcements pleased Senate Democrats, who believe that they will have a better chance to retake full control of the Senate in the fall elections if several Republican incumbents retire. Furthermore, there is a possibility that more Senate Republicans—including 90-year-old Sen. Bill Larkin (R-Cornwall-on-Hudson), 75-year-old Sen. Carl Marcellino (R-Syosset), and Sen. Tom Croci (R-Sayville)—will join the ranks of the retirees in the coming weeks.