State Sen. Tom Duane Won't Seek Reelection

By Mathew Katz on June 4, 2012 9:04am 

Sen. Tom Duane, pictured arrived at City Council Speaker Christine Quinn's wedding, will not seek re-election in 2012.
Sen. Tom Duane, pictured arrived at City Council Speaker Christine Quinn's wedding, will not seek re-election in 2012.
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DNAinfo/Jill Colvin

NEW YORK CITY — State Sen. Tom Duane, New York's first openly gay state senator, will not seek re-election after 14 years in office.

Duane, 57, grew up in Queens and worked his way up through city political circles to become a City Councilman in 1991 after revealing he was HIV-positive.

He was first elected to represent the 29th Senatorial District, which includes the Upper West Side, Chelsea, Hell's Kitchen, Greenwich Village, and parts of the East Side, in 1998.

Duane plans to announce his decision at a press conference in Chelsea later Monday.

In an interview with the New York Times on Sunday, Duane said a large part of his decision was because he was tired of the back-and-forth commute between the city and Albany.

“It’s not that Albany isn't a lovely place, but it’s not home,” he told the paper.

“I always knew that I was going to have another chapter in my life, and it’s time for me to start that new chapter.”

Duane has a long and storied legislative record, but is likely to be most remembered for his role in the long fight to legalize same-sex marriage in the state.

Duane represents an area that historically votes overwhelmingly Democratic, leaving short time for anyone interested in it to assemble a campaign before the primary on Sept. 13.

Duane himself will serve until Dec. 31.

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