Assemblyman James Conte (R-Huntington Station) passed away on Tuesday in Manhattan after a long struggle with cancer.
Assemblyman James Conte (R-Huntington Station) lost his battle with cancer three months after his announcement to not seek re-election.
Conte, 53, had been hospitalized at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan since May, and died on Tuesday. Following years of health issues related to his kidneys, the assemblyman was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma last spring.
Conte, who represented the 10th district including parts of both Nassau and Suffolk counties, began his career serving as an aide to state legislators, and later served as an analyst for in the Suffolk County executive’s office. He served as ranking minority member of the Assembly Education Committee, and later led minority floor debates as the assistant minority leader pro tempore. In his last session in Albany, he served on three committees.
Conte served the 10th district for 24 years. He took office following a special election in May 1988. During his several terms in office, Conte, who received two kidney transplants, heavily supported legislation promoting organ donation and helped create a statewide organ donation registry.
Republican Leader Brian Kolb said in a statement, “With Jim, politics was never personal. He believed that our opponents were not our enemies and that the angels of our better nature should always carry the day.”
Speaker Sheldon Silver said of Assemblyman Conte: “A leader committed to improving education in the state, Jim will always be remembered for his intensely personal and passionate campaign to increase organ and tissue donation in the State of New York.”
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