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State Senator Betty Little announces retirement after ninth term

Mark Mulholland
Updated: December 05, 2019 06:14 PM
Created: December 05, 2019 09:11 AM

GLENS FALLS - Who could blame Betty Little if she's tired of driving throughout her sprawling 45th Senate District, which stretches from Warren and Washington counties to Franklin, Essex, Clinton, and St. Lawrence.

"It's 6,400 square miles. It's bigger than the state of Connecticut," laughed Little.

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However, she's not complaining.

Little says her nine terms in the New York State Senate and seven years before that in the Assembly have been a joy. Little says the interaction with constituents is what she'll miss most when she retires at the end of next year.

"Because I really want to represent everyone. That's the role of a legislator."

In her more than three decades of public service, Little earned a reputation for always being accessible.

"You're telephone is your best tool," she said Thursday. "Somebody calls up angry and they might holler at a staff person, I call them back and usually they forget what they were mad about."

Colleagues on both sides of the aisle say Little set the bar when it comes to being available to constituents.

"A harder working person, a more honest person, you'll never find in government," said Assemblyman Dan Stec, a Republican from Queensbury.

The senator says she has no immediate plans after retiring at the end of 2020, but she does have six grown children and 18 grandchildren to keep her busy.

Little says she'll spend her last year pushing for better cell and internet service for her constituents.

When asked what she'd like her legacy to be, Little said, "That I was a good, honest legislator and that I was accessible to everybody."

Little is not endorsing a candidate to succeed her, but Stec is among those expected to run for Little's seat.


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