State Sen. Phil Boyle (R-Bay Shore).

State Sen. Phil Boyle (R-Bay Shore). Credit: James Escher

State Sen. Phil Boyle, the longest-serving Long Island Republican in the State Legislature, has announced he won’t run for reelection, sparking a fast-moving game of political musical chairs to fill out the GOP ticket.

Shortly after Boyle’s announcement, Sen. Alexis Weik (R-Sayville) said she will shift districts to run for his seat in the 4th Senate District, which is overwhelmingly Republican. Mike Yousa of Babylon is the Democratic candidate.

Subsequently, Republicans announced they're backing Dean Murray to run for Weik's current seat, the 3rd Senate District, against Democrat Monica Martinez. It's a rematch: Martinez beat Murray in 2018 before losing to Weik in 2020.

Boyle, 60, said it was time for a new chapter after a lengthy career in the State Legislature. He’s in his 10th year representing the 4th Senate District, centered in southern Suffolk County. He previously served 16 years as a state assemblyman.

“It was a very difficult decision but, after 26 years in Albany, I have decided to not seek reelection to the New York State Senate,” Boyle (R-Bay Shore) wrote in a Twitter post. “I intend to continue my career in public service, just closer to home. I will miss my wonderful colleagues and friends, on both sides of the aisle.”

In an interview Tuesday, Boyle didn’t say what his next step would be but said: “I figured it would be a nice time to work close to home and give someone else a chance.”

Boyle served in the Assembly in two stints, from 1994 to 2002, then 2006-2012. He won first won election to the Senate in November 2012.

The once-a-decade process of redistricting has played a role in the political dominoes. Boyle’s district, once a toss-up, will become strongly Republican under new maps approved by the Democratic-led State Legislature (pending a GOP lawsuit seeking to throw out the maps as unconstitutional).

The Democratic plan also put Weik’s community, Sayville, in Boyle’s district while making her district a slightly Democratic-leaning one. That had prompted speculation for months that Weik might switch districts eventually — and that happened right after Boyle’s announcement.

“Today, I proudly accepted the Republican and Conservative Party nominations to run in New York’s 4th State Senate District,” Weik, 49, said in a statement Monday night. “It is an honor and privilege to follow in the footsteps of Senator Phil Boyle, who represented this area for decades and who has served as a trusted friend and mentor to me during my first term in the Senate.”

Martinez, 44, a Brentwood resident, held the 3rd District seat for two years before losing to Weik in fall 2020.

Murray, 57, an East Patchogue resident, served as a state assemblyman for six non-consecutive years before running for Senate in 2018. 

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