Looks like the Republicans can't catch a break these days. It will be interesting to see the political power struggle this will cause for the state GOP.
State Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno released a statement Monday evening saying he will not seek re-election in November.
The news came on the last official day of the 2008 legislative session.
Bruno, 79, has served as leader of the Senate since 1995. He has represented the state's 43rd District, which includes Saratoga and Rensselaer, since 1976.
"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," he said in a statement.
The state's top Republican lost his wife earlier this year after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease, although Bruno cited "timing" as the reason for his departure.
"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 said. "There have been few more rewarding experiences in my life. But, timing in life is everything. While there may never be a good time to make these kinds of life decisions, I have decided that it is time for me to move on with my life."
In response to Bruno's announcement, Mayor Michael Bloomberg praised his good friend.
"Joe Bruno has been a good friend to me and the people of New York City for all the years I have known him," said the mayor in a statement. "Time and again, when we have asked him for leadership, he has delivered -- for our schools, our environment, our economy, and our people. He has more than earned the right to retire, and we wish him all the best."
"The senator is certainly a piece of Albany, an era ends with Joe Bruno leaving," added State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.
Last year, Bruno's public feuds with then-Governor Eliot Spitzer gained even more attention when State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo accused Spitzer of hiring State Police to track the majority leader's travel records with the intent to smear Bruno's reputation.
There is no indication that an FBI probe into Bruno's private consulting business has anything to do with his stepping down.
If the Republicans maintain the majority following the November elections, a new leader will then be selected. Bruno's term ends December 31st.