Navy recalls NY GOP senator; won't seek re-election

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A fourth Republican announced Wednesday that he won't seek re-election to the New York state Senate this November in another blow to the party's efforts to retain control of its last bastion in state government.

Sen. Tom Croci, of Long Island, said he will return to active duty in the Naval Reserve. Croci, who served four tours in the Middle East and holds the rank of commander in the Navy, was first elected to the Senate in 2014. He chairs of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security, Military and Veterans Affairs.

"I am being recalled to active duty and have accepted orders that preclude me from being a candidate for public office," he said in a statement. Croci's plans were first reported by Newsday.

Four Republican senators have announced plans to retire since Democrats won two special Senate elections last week to win a numeric majority in the 63-seat chamber. Republicans have held the Senate for nearly all of the last 80 years, but maintain control now only through the support of a rogue Democrat, Brooklyn Sen. Simcha Felder.

Felder announced last week that he intends to stay with his Republican allies — making it likely the GOP will lead the Senate through at least the end of the legislative session in June.

Democrats already control the Assembly and hold the offices of attorney general, governor and comptroller. They are predicting that opposition to Republican President Donald Trump this fall will help them win enough Senate seats to win a clear, functional majority this fall.

"At this rate, there will be no one left in the Republican Conference by the end of session," said Senate Democratic spokesman Mike Murphy. "Even they understand that there is a blue wave sweeping across the country and state."

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