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Michelle Schimel won’t seek re-election to NY Assembly

Assemb. Michelle Schimel (D-Port Washington) rallies on March

Assemb. Michelle Schimel (D-Port Washington) rallies on March 23, 2015, in support of more funds for schools and against the governor's emphasis on high-stakes testing. Photo Credit: Newsday / Audrey C. Tiernan

Assemb. Michelle Schimel said Thursday she won’t run for re-election, stepping down after five two-year terms.

“It was not an easy decision. This is the best job I’ve ever had,” said Schimel (D-Port Washington). “But I took a deep breath and said it’s time for a change. A real change.”

Schimel said she had no immediate plans for her next step, other than returning to “civilian” life. She said she is getting married, but that wasn’t a factor in her decision.

“It’s never one thing,” Schimel said about her reasons for leaving, adding that she still loved her job representing parts of Nassau County. She moved last year from Great Neck to Port Washington.

Schimel was an advocate for gun-control laws and environmental protection. She said she was most proud of fighting for the so-called Safe Act, a gun-control law that New York enacted after the school massacre in Newtown, Conn., and against hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, a process known as fracking.

She also fought for a state law to ban tiny plastic microbeads used for exfoliating or cleansing. Although the state didn’t act, the federal government last month banned the product to protect waterways.

Among her unsuccessful fights, Schimel regularly advanced a bill to “microstamp” gun ammunition, which she said would help solve crimes and limit trafficking.

Nassau County Democratic chairman Jay Jacobs said Schimel always brought “great enthusiasm” to her job and will be missed.

Schimel’s Nassau County-based district is considered a Democratic seat — there were 36,931 active Democrats in the district as of November, compared to 25,585 Republicans and 24,819 independent voters.

“I anticipate us holding that seat,” Jacobs said.

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