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Assemblyman James Conte Dies

Organ donation advocate loses battle with lymphoma

On Tuesday, Oct. 16 James Conte, Republican assemblyman of the 10th district in Huntington lost his battle with T-cell lymphoma cancer. He was diagnosed last spring, but in May 2012 Conte had learned that the cancer had spread. He began receiving chemotherapy treatment at Mt. Sinai Hospital.

Just three months ago, Conte formally announced that he would not seek re-election as assemblyman “due to his ongoing battle with cancer and his desire to focus all of his energy on recovering and spend more time with his family and friends.”

Conte had dedicated 24 years to public service. He was first elected to the Assembly during a special election in March 1988.

“The passing of Assemblyman James Conte this morning is a tremendous loss for all of those who were fortunate to know him and for the entire 10th Assembly District that he represented with great pride and distinction for over 24 faithful years,” said Chad Lupinacci, the Republican, Conservative, Independence, and Working Families Party candidate for the 10th District Assembly.  

Conte was also a two-time kidney transplant recipient, and had been an advocate in promoting organ and tissue donation, authoring several laws to increase organ donation. He helped create a Gift of Life Trust Fund and a statewide organ donor registry.

“The people of New York State and Assembly District 10 lost a great public servant and man today in James D. Conte, a lifelong resident of Huntington Station,” said Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano. “Working on statewide and local issues of concern to Long Islanders, Assemblyman Conte was a strong voice in Albany on behalf of his constituents where he served as Minority Leader Pro Tempore since 2010.  Long Island is a better place because of Jim’s tireless efforts and he will be greatly missed.”

Since 2010, Conte served as the Assembly Republican Conference’s Floor Leader.

Conte, of Huntington Station, is survived by his wife, Debra, and three children, Sarah, Jeffrey and Samantha.