Three months after announcing he would not seek re-election to battle cancer, longtime state Assemblyman James Conte had died.
Conte, 53, represented the 10th Assembly district, which includes part of Farmingdale.
“These last few months have been a very difficult time for my family and me,” Conte said in July. “A diagnosis of cancer places tremendous strains on one’s family and I truly appreciate everyone’s support and well wishes.”
State Sen. Carl Marcellino, on his Facebook page, said of Conte’s passing; “It is with great sadness that I learned of the passing of my friend and colleague Assemblyman James Conte after a long battle with cancer. Jim dedicated his career to helping the residents of Huntington and New York State and he did so with integrity and honor.”
Jim Polansky, superintendent with the Huntington School District, said, “Jim was a big supporter of the kids and schools in both Huntington and South Huntington. I can't remember an Eagle Scout ceremony without his presence and his traditional presentation of a New York State Assembly hat.”
Suffolk County Legis. Lou D’Amaro, D-Huntington Station, said, “Jim Conte was a dedicated public official who served our community with distinction. I would like to express my sincere condolences to the entire Conte family. Jim will surely be missed.”
Conte, a Republican who resided in Huntington Station, spent 24 years in public service representing local residents in the 10th Assembly District. He was first elected to the Assembly in March 1988 during a special election. Since 2010, Conte served as the Assembly Republican Conference’s Floor Leader.
Conte was born Jan. 1, 1959. He attended St. Hugh of Lincoln Elementary School in Huntington High School and graduated from the State University of New York at Stony Brook with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Political Science.
A two-time kidney transplant recipient, he was one of the Legislature’s leading advocates in promoting organ and tissue donation and authored several laws to increase organ donation in the state and helped create a Gift of Life Trust Fund and a statewide organ donor registry.