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An exit interview with NYS' longest-serving lawmaker

Assemblymember Richard Gottfried, wearing a navy suit and tie, speaks at a standing microphone with a group of people behind him holding "SINGLE PAYER" signs.
Office of New York State Assemblymember Richard Gottfried

Nelson Rockefeller, Malcolm Wilson, Hugh Carey, Mario Cuomo, George Pataki, Eliot Spitzer, David Paterson, Andrew Cuomo and now Kathy Hochul. That is the long list of New York governors who have been sworn in since Manhattan Democrat Richard Gottfried began his state Assembly career in 1971.

Now, barring a special session later this year, Gottfried is spending his final days in the legislature before it adjourns for the session.

Gottfried is retiring from the 75th district this year, ending his run as the longest-serving lawmaker in state history.

To put in all in perspective, Gottfried was elected at age 23 and just marked his 75th birthday. How about some more math? He estimates he’s made the trip from his Manhattan district to the state capitol in Albany nearly 1,500 times.

Public media's WAMC in Albany caught up with Gottfried this week.

WAMC's Ian Pickus talks with retiring Assemblymember Richard Gottfried
A headshot of Assemblymember Richard Gottfried.

A lifelong resident of the Capital Region, Ian joined WAMC in late 2008 and became news director in 2013. He began working on Morning Edition and has produced The Capitol Connection, Congressional Corner, and several other WAMC programs. Ian can also be heard as the host of the WAMC News Podcast and on The Roundtable and various newscasts. Ian holds a BA in English and journalism and an MA in English, both from the University at Albany, where he has taught journalism since 2013.