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Croci bows out
Long Island Republican State Sen. Tom Croci has told The Point that he will not seek re-election this fall. Croci, who represents the 3rd SD in south and central Suffolk where Democrats have the registration advantage, has decided to return to active duty in the Naval Reserve. Croci, a former Islip Town supervisor and a conservative GOP member, was favored to win. But an open seat now presents a prime pick-up opportunity for Democrats, increasing their chances of taking back the State Senate.
Croci said he is finalizing plans with the Navy, where he holds the rank of commander. He will work in its intelligence division, but he said he does not yet know where he will be stationed. “I will be bouncing back and forth in the coming weeks,” he told The Point.
Croci said that he wanted to return to active duty at some point (he would have been required to by 2020) and that he began discussions with the Navy early in the year. Croci said he was not motivated by fears that the GOP would lose its majority this fall. Instead, the key factor was the assignment he was offered. In fact, a GOP source close to Croci confirmed earlier this year that Croci wanted to leave Albany because he was disillusioned with the dealmaking that led raw politics to trump policy and that Croci instead sought an attractive military assignment, especially in Washington, D.C. Party leaders had asked Croci to run for re-election this fall and resign afterward. Their strategy, which would have resulted in a special election in early 2019, offered a stronger possibility that the GOP would keep the seat.
“That’s not best for the community and people I represent,” Croci about the plan to have him run and then leave. He said Republicans have a good chance of keeping the seat in their column. “If they pick a good candidate, they will be fine,” he said.