Three Republican members of the New York Senate announced that they won’t run for re-election this fall.
The decisions Friday by Deputy Majority Leader John DeFrancisco of Syracuse and John Bonacic of Orange County come after a third Republican, Kathy Marchione of Halfmoon, announced Thursday she would not seek another term.
The retirements are a major setback for the GOP, which has controlled the Senate for most of the last 80 years. Democrats already control the Assembly and hold the offices of governor, comptroller and attorney general, leaving the Senate as the GOP’s last bastion in Albany.
All three seats are in districts that have voted for Republicans in the past. Sen. John Flanagan, the Long Island Republican who leads the Senate, predicted the GOP would field “excellent candidates” to replace them.
“We will succeed in November and maintain our majority so the true priorities of New Yorkers continue to be put first,” he said.
The three retiring senators are expected to serve out their terms, which expire at the end of the year.
DeFrancisco, who was first elected to the Senate in 1992, announced earlier in the week that he was suspending his campaign for governor after Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro emerged as the front runner for the GOP nomination.
Bonacic, who represents Kiryas Joel, was elected in 1998 and currently leads two powerful committees, judiciary and racing, gaming and wagering. He said he wants to spend more time with family.
Marchione also cited family reasons for her decision to retire at the end of the year. She was first elected in 2012.