State Sen. Betty Little won't seek re-election to 10th term

GLENS FALLS, N.Y. (AP) — Veteran Republican lawmaker Betty Little announced her retirement Thursday, saying she won't seek re-election to a 10th term serving her northern New York State Senate district.

At a Glens Falls event, the 79-year-old said it was a difficult decision because she loved her nearly 25 years in the Legislature.

“I have loved the constituents, the people in our district,” Little said. “Everybody worked so hard to improve their own lives and to improve the lives of the people in their community and improve the community, but it's time.”

Little's announcement came just days after fellow Republican Sen. George Amedore ruled out a 2020 run.

Little said she's proud of accomplishments including protection of environmentally sensitive grasslands, protection of private property and fighting invasive species. She chaired the Housing, Construction and Community Development Committee before the Republicans lost the majority of the Senate last year.

Little served in the state Assembly from 1995 to 2002, when she was elected to the Senate. She easily defeated Democratic challenger Emily Martz in November 2018.

Republican U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, who also represents the North Country, said she often refers to Little as an example of a strong woman in politics. “She has been a tremendous role model for so many,” Stefanik said in a statement. “The North Country is tremendously grateful for her service and sacrifice.”