Here is an expanded version of the second item from my “Albany Insider” column from Monday’s print editions:
The longtime head of the powerful Assembly Ways and Means Committee will not seek reelection in 2018, sources close to him say.
Assemblyman Herman “Denny” Farrell (D-Manhattan) has served in the Legislature for 42 years, making him the third longest active Assembly member in the chamber behind Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan) and Joseph Lentol (D-Brooklyn). Right behind Farrell in longevity is Assemblyman Robin Schimminger (D-Erie County).
The sources say Farrell’s decision to retire is a combination of being 85-years-old and also wanting to spend more time with his 12-year-old daughter. It’s unclear whether he will step down before his term is up at the end of 2018. The current legislative session ends in June.
In addition to his time in the Assembly, Farrell, who had no comment, is a former head of the state and Manhattan Democratic parties. In 1985, he mounted an unsuccessful challenge to then-Mayor Ed Koch.
Farrell has won the respect of members on both sides of the aisle in the Assembly, particularly for his ability to spend hours on the floor of the Assembly debating the budget with a congenial nature with Republicans.