, R-Huntington Station, announced Monday that he will not seek re-election this fall. Instead, he will take on a much more personal battle: cancer.
Conte, diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma last spring, learned in May that the cancer had spread. He is currently receiving chemotherapy treatments at Mt. Sinai Hospital, which will continue for the next few weeks, the assemblyman stated in a release.
Conte said that he will focus all of his energy on recovering and spending more time with family and friends.
In the statement, he said that his health has improved in the last several days, and he is taking the opportunity to thank his friends, family, constituents and colleagues for their loving support during this difficult period.
“These last few months have been a very difficult time for my family and me,” Conte stated. “A diagnosis of cancer places tremendous strains on one’s family and I truly appreciate everyone’s support and well wishes. While my health has improved over the last several days, I have realized that in order to fully recover, I must devote my full energies to regaining my strength and beating this disease. After speaking at length with my family, I have decided not to run for re-election this November. This decision was very hard for me, but after twenty-four years of dedicated public service and fighting for the people of the 10th Assembly District, I feel that it is now time to take all my energy and battle something much more personal.”
Conte was first elected to the Assembly during a March special election in 1988. A two-time kidney transplant recipient, he has been one of the Legislature’s leading advocates in promoting organ and tissue donation and has authored several laws to increase organ donation in the state and helped create a Gift of Life Trust Fund and a statewide organ donor registry. Since 2010, Conte has served as the Assembly Republican Conference’s Floor Leader.
Conte resides in Huntington Station with his wife, the former Debra Ingalls, a pharmacist, and has three children, Sarah Ashley, a senior at Manhattan College, Jeffrey James, a sophomore at Manhattan College and Samantha Irene, a freshman at Huntington High School.