PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (WCAX) Longtime New York State Sen. Betty Little is calling it quits. She announced on Thursday she will not seek re-election in 2020. Little has represented the North Country in Albany for more than two decades. Our Kelly O'Brien was at the announcement.
Sen. Betty Little
You could see this was an emotional decision for the senator. She spoke of her successes and what she plans to fight for in her last year, but ultimately she said it was time.
"I really can't say enough about what an honor and real, real privilege it has been for me to do this," said Little, R-Queensbury.
Little entered the New York Senate in 2003. Prior to that, she sat in the state Assembly for seven years.
"I've had a lot of legislation pass. I think 322 bills have passed and been signed by the governors," she said.
The senator talked about her successes in the Legislature, including five constitutional amendments and fixing mausoleums in the region. But she hopes to have even more wins before leaving next December, pushing for better broadband and cell coverage in the North County.
"We still have a stretch, I lost a call right as I when through Exit 30, so we know where the empty spots are," Little said.
Little says retiring isn't an easy decision but after going back and forth, she decided it is time.
"I would never want to do anything halfway and I think it's time to step aside," she said.
Her Democratic opponent, Kimberly Davis, says Little's retirement changes the strategy of her campaign but she plans to continue her fight for the seat.
"We need another voice telling New York City and Long Island these are serious issues up here. They're not the same issues you may have, but as I talked about with cell and broadband, they're extremely important and we need to have a seat at the table where people will be listening," Davis said.
Still no word on who the new Republican candidate with be for the 45th district but Little said we likely will find out in the coming days.