Republican Sen. Joe Robach on Wednesday became the latest GOP state lawmaker in the chamber to announce he will not seek re-election in 2020.
Robach joins Sens. Betty Little, George Amedore and Michael Razenhofer in the last several weeks in announcing his retirement plans.
“It has been an honor and privilege to represent Rochester and Monroe County in the state Senate and state Assembly. I have had the opportunity to accomplish much, meet many great people and assist thousands of residents in our community throughout my tenure in elected office,” Robach said in a statement. “However, I, like many others, am now suffering from the divisive New York City politics that have engulfed everything in the State Capitol. This has impacted my decision not to seek re-election.”
Robach added, “I have always made my service to be of purpose and have spent my entire career ensuring that Monroe County, Rochester and upstate has a strong voice in state government. It is imperative that any Senate representative from our region, regardless of political affiliation, be willing to stand up to the New York City power brokers that now control our state capitol, and put our region and people first. I hope that my performance has reflected my deep appreciation for the opportunity to serve in elected office and the continued support I have received from the community that I love.”
Robach is a former Democrat, having served in the state Assembly. He was first elected to the Senate as a Republican in 2002.
The wave of departures is signaling a profound turnover among the Republican conference in the state Senate, which fell out of power last year for the first time in a decade.
Meanwhile, Sen. Bob Antonacci, elected just last year to a Syracuse-area seat, is stepping down to take a judgeship. Sen. Cathy Young resigned earlier this year after losing a leadership election against Minority Leader John Flanagan.
Sens. Chris Jacobs and Robert Ortt are both running for an open congressional seat in western New York.
Democratic Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins this week said she was confident the party could hold 43 seats in the 63-member chamber after the 2020 elections.