New York State Senator Thomas K. Duane announced at noon Monday that he isn't seeking reelection. The first (and only) openly gay senator in the state's legislature, who also was the first openly HIV-positive person elected to office in the U.S., is going to retire when his term ends on December 31.
But he isn't quitting over his health or any backlash over his sexual orientation. He's fed up with commuting between New York City and the state capital, Albany, 150 miles away.
The 57-year-old represents a vast district, from the Upper West Side of Manhattan to Greenwich Village and over to the East Village.
The Democrat told the New York Times that Albany is a lovely place, but it is not home.
"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 told the Times.
In the Times interview, Duane said he began seriously thinking about retiring when he and his longtime partner, Louis Webre, attended the wedding of City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and her partner, Kim Catullo, last month. Quinn was his former chief of staff.
Duane is a former Wall Street stockbroker. He grew up in Flushing, Queens, and was elected to the City Council in 1991, after revealing his HIV-positive status. The gay rights advocate was elected to the state senate in 1998.
To contact the editor, e-mail: