PLATTSBURGH — State Sen. Betty Little is not aiming to retire.
"To dispel any and all rumors that are so characteristic of Albany these days, I am running for re-election to the State Senate," she said in a statement on Thursday.
Little (R-Queensbury) was first elected in the 45th District in 2002 after serving seven years in the Assembly.
She replaced longtime Sen. Ronald B. Stafford of Plattsburgh, who served for 37 years before retiring.
Little, 77, serves as the chair of the Senate Housing, Construction and Community Development Committee, and sits on nine other committees, including Finance, Health and Education.
As a senator in the majority, Little was instrumental in getting counties and local governments to share services; approving laws to restrict the sale, possession and importation of invasive species; and helped create the Adirondack Community Housing Trust.
MANY MONTHS AGO
She also was key in the passage of the Timber Theft Law, which deals with those who steal timber from private or public lands, and in expanding net metering to encourage investment in renewable power production including solar, wind and waste energy.
"I made the decision to seek re-election many months ago, and no one should have a doubt about it," Little said.
"I love the work and value immensely the privilege and honor of serving as the representative of the 45th Senate District. I have been in the process of meeting with the county committees in my district to gain their endorsements, and I am looking forward to being on the ballot this November."
The 45th District includes all of Clinton, Essex, Franklin and Warren counties and parts of St. Lawrence and Washington counties.
AFTER THE PRIMARY
Democrats have yet to field a candidate for the district seat.
Clinton County Democratic Party Chairwoman Sara Rowden said a few people have expressed interest in running, but no decisions had been made.
"People were not sure if she (Little) was running again or going to retire," she said.
"They've been waiting for a decision."
Rowden said it is possible that one of the five Democrats running in a primary for the 21st Congressional District might consider a run at State Senate.
Tedra Cobb of St. Lawrence County; Dylan Ratigan, Emily Martz and Katie Wilson of Essex County; and Patrick Nelson of Washington County are all seeking to win the primary on June 26.
"This (senate race) might be a good one for one of them to consider if they lose the primary," Rowden said.
SENATE RACE PETITIONS
Candidates for State Senate have until July 12 to submit petitions to get on the ballot for November.
The petition process begins June 5, and candidates must obtain 1,000 signatures of party members, according to the New York State Board of Elections.
Rowden said Clinton County Democrats are meeting on Tuesday, May 24, to discuss candidates.
"I'm sure the senate race will be a topic of conversation," she said.
Email Joe LoTemplio: