Rockland Exec C. Scott Vanderhoef won't seek re-election

Rockland County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef speaks at

Rockland County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef speaks at the New York State Republican convention in 2006. Photo Credit: AP

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After almost two decades, Rockland County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef is calling it quits.

Vanderhoef, 64, one of the longest-serving county executives in New York State, told some 100 supporters at a fundraiser Wednesday night that he will not seek re-election in 2013.

"There were a lot of disappointed people, but it was no really great surprise after 20 years," said Vincent Reda, chairman of the county's Republican Party.

Vanderhoef made the announcement at Civile's Venice on the Hudson in Haverstraw, where he has staged annual political fundraisers for years. Vanderhoef told supporters he plans to serve out the remainder of his fifth term before retiring.

Harriet Cornell, a Democrat and chairwoman of the county Legislature, called Vanderhoef a "well-liked" politician who "has reached across the aisle to work with Democrats."

"He's got his own life to think of, and he's probably announcing at a reasonably early time to give people an opportunity to think about who will succeed him," said Cornell (D-West Nyack).

Reda said county Republicans have heard from "several people who have expressed an interest" in running for county executive. He declined to name potential candidates, but some potential candidates -- including Rockland Legis. Ed Day, a retired NYPD lieutenant commander -- have said publicly they're interested in the job.

Names floated on the Democratic side include Rockland County Clerk Paul Piperato and Legis. Alden Wolfe, vice chairman of the county Legislature.

A telephone call Wednesday night with Vanderhoef spokesman Ron Levine was not immediately returned.

The Rockland GOP will stage its convention in the spring of 2013, where party leaders will choose a nominee. County executives in Rockland serve four-year terms and earn more than $147,000 annually.

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