New York Sen. Tom Duane, the nation’s only openly gay and openly HIV-positive state legislator has announced his retirement.
On Monday, Mr. Duane, a Democrat, will announce his decision to call it quits, opening up the seat in a district that stretches from the Upper West Side to Greenwich Village, and across to the East Village. No, it is not his health. No, he does not have another job lined up. And no, Mr. Duane said cheerfully in an interview, he has not done anything illegal or embarrassing that is about to make news. Instead, Mr. Duane, 57, said that he had simply tired of ricocheting between the city and Albany, as he has for nearly 14 years — a number he repeated at least a dozen times — and that he was eager to try something new. “It’s not that Albany isn’t a lovely place, but it’s not home,” he said. “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.”
The New York Times speculates about Duane’s replacement.
With Republicans now holding a slim majority in the Senate, Mr. Duane’s departure is unlikely to alter Albany’s balance of power, since whoever wins the Democratic primary on Sept. 13 will be an overwhelming favorite in November. The shortlist could include State Assembly members Deborah J. Glick and Brian Kavanaugh. Other possibilities are Brad Hoylman and Corey Johnson, the chairmen of Community Boards 2 and 4.
You may recall Duane’s amazing 2009 speech to the state Senate during that year’s failed bid for same-sex marriage. Give it a minute, it builds and builds.