The longest serving lawmaker in Albany is retiring.
NY State of Politics reports Assemblyman Richard Gottfried will step down at the end of his current term. Gottfried, first elected in 1970, represents the 75th District, which covers much of Manhattan. He traces his interest in politics back to his time on his high school debating team. Among the members of his graduating class were Congressman Jerry Nadler and political strategist Dick Morris. He says his interest was really sparked by John F. Kennedy’s presidential campaign in 1960, when he was 13.
Gottfried graduated from Cornell and Columbia law school and was elected to what was then the 65th District seat at the age of 23. He was part of a wave of progressive lawmakers he says gave the state the Democratic majority it still holds today. Among his top legislative achievements, Gottfried cites the passage of the Child Health Plus law in 1990. He also helped push to passage the Marriage Equality Law and the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act.
He says his final mission is to pass the New York Health Act in the coming session. The act would create single-payer health care in New York. Gottfried, who chairs the Assembly Health Committee, will remain in office through the end of 2022.
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