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Senator Suzi Oppenheimer Announces Retirement

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. - State Sen. Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) announced Thursday that she will not seek re-election this November.  She made her decision after recently learning that she will need to undergo major shoulder replacement surgery in 2012, according to a press release.

“It had always been my plan to seek re-election in November and continue to serve the people of this district,” said Oppenheimer.

“When considering my responsibilities as senator, the extensive effort that will go into rehabilitation and physical therapy following my surgery, and the added work of the hard fought campaigns I always wage, it became clear to me that I could do only two of those three important tasks,” Oppenheimer said.

A date for surgery has not been scheduled, but is expected to take place early in the 2012 legislative session.

“I want to thank the people of my district for the honor and privilege of representing them.  Wherever I go throughout Westchester County, I am buoyed by the well wishes and support of longtime friends and residents,” she said.  “I have enormous faith in the people of New York.  If they are ever tough on their elected officials, it is only because they believe – as I do – that we, as a state, can and will be better.”

Oppenheimer has many topics she wishes to address before leaving office next January, including tackling tough issues, moving legislation, and impacting areas where she is an expert.

“I am most excited about being part of Governor Cuomo’s efforts to bring much needed change to Albany by reforming, reorganizing and making state government effective again,” the senator said.

“By the end of this term, I will have served 28 years in the New York State Senate, following eight years as Mayor of Mamaroneck,” Oppenheimer said.  The Senate is an institution that I hold very dear to my heart, and I count many of my colleagues – on both sides of the aisle – among my closest friends.”

“While I will be out of elective office in 2013 for the first time in 36 years, I expect to continue my involvement and pursue new opportunities to serve our community and our state,” she said.

Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D/I/WF – Yonkers) released the following statement regarding the retirement of a fellow senator.

"I just want to extend my sincere thanks to Sen. Oppenheimer for her decades of public service. She has been a tireless advocate for the people of the Sound Shore and parts of Westchester for the past 36 years, fighting for education, women's rights and government reform. Her distinguished career has been an inspiration to women in government, and I am proud to call her my friend," said Cousins. "Suzi's presence in our conference will be missed, but I wish her, her husband, children and grandchildren the very best for years to come," she said.

Assembly member George Latimer (D-Rye) also spoke highly of Oppenheimer.

“Sen. Oppenheimer has been a leader in Westchester for many years and I am immensely grateful for her service to our shared community," said Latimer.

"From the beginning, she was a leading voice for women’s health and education as the President of the Mamaroneck League of Women Voters and the Central School PTA in her home community eventually leading her to the Mayoralty of Mamaroneck and ultimately the State Senate," Latimer said.

"The schools throughout Westchester have a reputation of being top-notch institutions; much of that success can be attributed to the senator’s lifelong efforts and her true pursuit of educational excellence.  Sen. Oppenheimer’s steady hand in Albany as a partner representing the Sound Shore Communities will be missed; her counsel and knowledge of Westchester County have always been intelligent and rooted in the priorities of those she represents," he said.

"I congratulate Sen. Oppenheimer on her wonderful career and wish her and her family all the best in the future.”

New Rochelle resident Alex Mignone does not have an issue with Oppenheimer retiring soon.

"(It's) fine with me," he said via a post on The Daily New Rochelle Facebook Page Thursday.

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