Rochester, N.Y. - State Senator James Alesi, who cast a pivotal vote in support of legalizing same-sex marriage in New York last year, will not run for re-election.
The Republican tells 13WHAM that he weighed several factors to reach this decision, including party unity and stability, and his role in future years.
Alesi said that he believes his body of work in Albany is complete.
Back in November, he told 13WHAM, "I have to run as a Republican because I have to be able to say you can vote for marriage equality as a Republican and you can survive."
When asked Wednesday about his comments last year and his decision not to run, Alesi said that things have changed and even remarked on President Obama publicly stating his support for same-sex marriage.
"There comes a time when an issue can outrun an individual and I think it's outrun me," Alesi said.
Alesi said he hasn't decided what will come next for him once he finishes his eighth term.
In a statement released Wednesday night, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said, "I was sad to learn the news, but respect his decision and wish him the best... I commend Senator Alesi for his dedicated service and for his unwavering commitment to his constituents. He has been one of my closest friends in the Legislature and I am confident that if he had decided to run, he would have been re-elected."
Republicans intend to announce their chosen candidate for the 55th Senate District Thursday morning; sources say it will be Assemblyman Sean Hanna.
Democratic Party Chairman Joe Morelle tells 13WHAM that his party will endorse Monroe County Legislator Ted O'Brien to run for this seat.