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Staff: Sen. Ken LaValle will not seek re-election

Sen. Ken LaValle, the longest-tenured member of the New York State Senate, announced Wednesday that he will not seek re-election this fall.

Mr. LaValle, who was first elected in 1976, announced his plans in an exclusive interview with riverheadlocal.com. His office confirmed his desire to leave office at the end of his current term. A formal announcement is expected Friday.

The Port Jefferson Republican was a teacher and school administrator in the Middle Country School District in the 1960s, who went on to serve as a Senate aide to his predecessor, Leon Giuffreda.

Mr. LaValle, 80, won his first race against Stony Brook University physicist Barry McCoy and has since been reelected 21 times, sometimes running unopposed and almost never in a tightly contested race.

In 2013, Mr. LaValle became the longest-tenured active State Senator in New York. He’s served more terms than any other active State Senator in the U.S.

Mr. LaValle has frequently pointed to his sponsorship of the Pine Barrens Protection Act of 1993 as his signature bill. As a longtime chairman of the Senate higher education committee, he also lists the expansion of Stony Brook University, where the football stadium bears his name, among his career highlights.