In a surprise, three-term State Senator Kathy Marchione (R-Halfmoon) said she will not seek re-election this coming fall.
She admits that Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-Long Island) was "disappointed" by her decision. The Republicans hold a slim 32-31 margin currently in the chamber and that is only because Democrat Simcha Felder of Brooklyn conferences with them. In what some expect could be a banner year for Democrats, this is one seat that the GOP will now have to unexpectedly defend in the fall.
Marchione was elected in 2012 replacing fellow Republican Roy McDonald, who was one of four members of the GOP to vote for same-sex marriage. She defeated him in the primary, citing that vote as a reason she decided to challenge him. The senator said at the age of 63 and after nearly four decades of government service she wanted to spend more time with her family, including taking care of her 88 year-old mother.