Written by Steve Mosco Thursday, 09 January 2014 00:00
Sen. Charles Fuschillo, a Republican state senator representing a sizeable portion of Farmingdale since 1998, announced that as of Jan. 1 he is leaving office to run the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.
“This was a hard and bittersweet decision to reach,” said Fuschillo. “The almost 16 years I have spent serving the residents of the 8th Senate District were some of the most rewarding and enjoyable of my life.”
Fuschillo, 53, said his is proud of Senate accomplishments during his tenure, including New York State’s landmark Do Not Call Registry, the Clean Indoor Air Law, stronger penalties for drunk drivers and protections for individuals with autism. New York State Senate co-leader Dean Skelos called Fuschillo a key ally, but appreciated the attractions of this opportunity.
“Sometimes in life, we are presented with opportunities that are simply too good to pass up,” said Skelos. “This was one of those moments.”
Fuschillo’s departure leaves the Republicans with 29 members in the state Senate. However, Republicans and the four member Independent Democratic Conference still have enough votes to maintain a majority in the 63-seat chamber.
The senator’s resignation raises questions whether Governor Andrew Cuomo will call a special election or leave the seat vacant until November—nearly a year away.
Possible candidates to fill Fuschillo’s seat include Legislator Michael Venditto, Assemblyman Joseph Saladino, and Nassau Chief Deputy Comptroller Steven Labriola.
Fuschillo went on to say that he was “ready for a new challenge.”
“This is a new and exciting opportunity which will allow me to continue to help improve the lives of others while at the same time enabling me to spend more time with my family,” he said. “Joining the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America as the new CEO presents an exciting opportunity to improve the lives of others and effect change in a disease state that is reaching crisis proportions.”
Headquartered in New York, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America provides education and care-related programs for people with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, as well as their caregivers and families. “With Chuck at the helm, we are poised to expand the foundation’s services to benefit even more people, at a time when AFA’s services have never been more critical,” said AFA Chairman Bert E. Brodsky.
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer said that in a time when politicians are disparaged, Fuschillo has been an exemplar in state politics, putting his community first and doing things to benefit the public.
“All of us, both Democrats and Republicans, will miss his abilities in the political sphere,” Schumer said. “But our consolation is that he will be putting his formidable talents to work for a much-needed cause.”
Prior to his eight-term political career, Fuschillo, a Merrick resident, served as the chief operating officer of a nonprofit family service agency serving Long Island and New York City.