Senate leader Bruno won’t seek re-election

New York Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, who has run the Republican chamber for more than a doz

Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, who has run the Republican chamber for more than a dozen years, confirmed today that he won’t seek re-election in the fall.

The 79-year-old Bruno, considered the oldest serving state legislative leader in the country, has been the state’s top Republican since 2006.

Several Republican senators some of whom could seek the powerful majority leader’s job, refused to comment on Bruno’s decision, announced in a closed-door session on the last scheduled day of the 2008 legislative session.

Bruno has been under an FBI investigation for more than a year which appears to be looking at his business associates outside of state government.

Bruno’s wife, Barbara, died in January. They had been married more than 50 years.

“Today, I met with my Republican colleagues in the Senate and informed them that I will not be running for re-election this November,” Bruno said in a prepared statement. “After 32 years in office, I have decided that it is time to move on with my life and to give my constituents an opportunity for new representation and my colleagues in the Senate who have supported me, an opportunity for new leadership.”

Bruno said he was grateful and felt blessed to be in his role so long.

“I have viewed my work not as a job, but as a privilege to come here day in and day out and stand up for the people of Rensselaer and Saratoga counties and stand up for the hardworking people I have come to know over the years,” Bruno stated.

“Politics is a tough ball game. Tougher now than it has ever been. But after 32 years of many successes and a few failures, I know now more than ever, and I can say that with comfort and confidence, there is no calling greater than that of public service,” Bruno stated.

Gov. David Paterson, a Harlem Democrat who has long had a close relationship with the upstate Republican, told reporters outside the Senate conference room that Bruno wants to pursue other interests in life.

“I think that it is, in some ways, a sad day for Albany and for me who would like to feel that I have a friendship with him outside of government,” Paterson said.

Paterson said he didn’t know if the decision had anything to do with the FBI investigation.

Paterson said he’s unsure when Bruno would step down as majority leader. Bruno’s term ends Dec. 31.

Categories: Schenectady County

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