Elder Queens stateswoman Nettie Mayersohn, who will turn 87 soon, announced on Wednesday her retirement from the Assembly after a 28-year run.
Mayersohn, who represents the 27th Assembly District, will step down at the end of March. Her area includes parts of Flushing, College Point, Kew Gardens Hills and Richmond Hill.
According to Mayersohn’s spokesman, Scott Wolf, she decided to retire now to spend more time with her family. “It was time for her to go,” Wolf said. “It was simple as that; there were no health issues.”
The speculation is her chief of staff Michael Simanowitz is the frontrunner for the office. He has worked for Mayersohn for more than 10 years and is active in the community.
Simanowitz last ran for office in 2008 when Councilman Jim Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows) opposed state Sen. Frank Padavan, who at the time was the Republican incumbent from Bellerose. When the councilman lost the election, he retained his council seat and Simanowitz withdrew from the contest.
Martha Taylor, a Democratic district leader from the 24th AD, also ran and withdrew for Gennaro’s seat in 2008 and believes that Simanowitz’s race may be uncontested. “He has been a wonderful assistant to Nettie,” Taylor said. “The Assembly position will be great for him and it’s well-deserved.”
Prior to her election in 1982, Mayersohn was the executive director of the state Crime Victims Board. She was also instrumental in organizing the Pomonok Neighborhood Center.
In Albany, she authored several AIDS-related bills, including the Baby AIDS Law in 1996 that requires doctors to tell mothers of HIV-infected newborns of the condition. In 1998 she introduced the partner notification law that makes physicians notify the state Health Department when a patient tests positive for the disease and ultimately the sexual partners.
The governor is expected to call a special election for the Assembly vacancy within the next six weeks.