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Battling cancer, Republican NY Sen. James Seward to retire

Sen. James L. Seward, R-Oneonta, speaks as Senate members debate budget bills in the Senate Chamber at the state Capitol, Sunday, March, 31, 2019, in Albany, N.Y. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)

New York state Sen. James Seward announced Monday that he’ll retire at the end of his 17th term this year, citing his ongoing battle with bladder cancer.

The 68-year-old Republican announced in November that his cancer, first diagnosed in 2016, had returned. He said Monday that the cancer is responding well to treatment but will hamper his ability to maintain the rigorous schedule required for a re-election campaign.

Seward, first elected in 1986, represents the 51st Senate District, which includes the Mohawk Valley and stretches from the Hudson Valley to the Finger Lakes. He is currently ranking Republican member of the Senate Finance Committee and headed the Insurance Committee for many years.

Seward makes nine Republican senators who aren’t seeking re-election or are seeking a different office next year. Republicans lost control of the state Senate in the 2018 election, but Seward said his decision isn’t related to minority standing.

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