LaValle Will Announce His Retirement From State Senate On Friday

ean Shafiroff, Rebecca Seawright and New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle. Photo courtesy of Ellen Hermanson Foundation

State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle on Friday will announce that he will not seek reelection this year, ending a 44-year career in the State Senate.

Mr. LaValle, 80, is the longest-serving member of the Senate. A resident of Port Jefferson, he will make the formal announcement on Friday in a gathering in his hometown.
The Republican senator was unavailable for comment on Wednesday, but a spokesperson from his office confirmed the planned announcement.

First elected from District 1, which includes the East End, in 1976, Mr. LaValle’s tenure in Albany has encompassed the creation of the Long Island Pine Barrens Act, the Community Preservation Fund Act, the growth of Stony Brook University — for which the university honored him by naming its sports stadium after him — and Stony Brook University Hospital’s recent merger with the former Southampton Hospital. He also was instrumental in the creation of the state’s School Tax Relief, or STAR, program.

He was active in higher education throughout his career in the Senate and a proponent of local school district consolidation.

Mr. LaValle is married to his wife, Penny, a former longtime employee of Suffolk County. The senator has two grown children.