Democrat Robin Schimminger was first elected to the state Assembly in 1976.

He will end his 40+ year tenure in the Legislature at the end of next year. Schimminger confirmed he plans to retire after he completes his current term.

“During that time, I have met with thousands of individuals and been involved with issues that have affected them personally and collectively as a community. After considerable reflection, I have decided that I will not be seeking re-election next year in 2020,” he said.

He has served as the chair of the Assembly Standing Committee on Economic Development for more than two decades. Schimminger has the reputation as a moderate Democrat, who has had no qualms with criticizing the administration, including current Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo.

“I will, however, continue to represent the people and places that have been a part of my life for the duration of my present term, after which time I look forward to spending more time with my family,” he said.

Party insiders expect there will be people lining up to run for the long-occupied seat. The names already mentioned as possible Schimminger successors include Erie County Democratic Committee Chairman Jeremy Zellner, Kenmore Mayor Patrick Mang, Tonawanda Supervisor Joe Emminger, and Erie County Legislator Kevin Hardwick.

Spectrum News spoke with Emminger and Hardwick before the assemblyman made his announcement. Emminger said he would consider running for the seat, while Hardwick, who recently defected from the GOP, did not say no but downplayed the idea.