New York state Senator James Alesi, one
of the four Senate Republicans who voted in favor of legalizing gay
marriage in the state, announced Wednesday he will not seek
reelection in the fall.
Alesi told the Daily
News that he believes his vote weakened him politically.
He said the vote lost him the support
of the local GOP and Conservative parties, both of which are backing
his primary opponent.
“I've gotten a lot of support from
Democrats and the gay community, but unfortunately they can't vote in
a Republican primary,” Alesi told the paper.
Alesi, now in his eighth term, was the
first Republican to announce his support for the measure.
He said he decided against seeking a
9th term out of fear it might hurt the Republican Party's
chances of maintaining its razor-thin majority in the Senate.
“At some point, you have to really
look at what is good for the party,” he said during a Capital
Tonight interview. “What makes it easier to maintain the
majority. And my not running is really the easiest way for the
Senate Republicans to work with the Governor in the majority.”
The National Organization for Marriage
(NOM), which strongly opposed passage of the marriage equality bill
and was working against Alesi's reelection, wrote in a blog post:
“Sen. Jim Alesi apparently saw the writing on the wall and realized
his vote for SSM had already ended his political career.”