Contact: Joshua Fitzpatrick, (518) 455-3751
"Long Island has lost one of its most dedicated and honorable public servants - and my Assembly colleagues and I have lost our dear friend, respected colleague and trusted mentor as Jim Conte was delivered into God's loving grace this morning.
Throughout his life, Jim was first, foremost and always a fighter: he fought tirelessly for his Long Island community and his constituents, fought to make New York State a better place for families and fought as a champion for organ and tissue donation to save lives and help ease suffering. To Jim, this was more than just an issue - it was a cause that moved him deeply because it touched him personally. Thanks to Jim's tireless advocacy, more New Yorkers now have the opportunity to donate and receive the gift of life. Lots of politicians talk about affecting change. Jim Conte actually made it happen.
When in recent years Jim faced new challenges, he could have walked away from the Assembly with no regrets; he had served his constituents, community and State for more than two decades with honor and distinction, always standing on principle, unafraid of fighting the good fight and taking on the toughest challenges. Walking away and quitting were never in Jim's vocabulary. Not only did he continue serving his Long Island constituents, Jim took on new responsibilities and an important role as our Floor Leader. He did an incredible job advocating for our policies and principles with passion, good humor and true class.
More than all of his impressive legislative achievements and 24 years of faithful service as a State Assemblyman, I will always remember Jim Conte, the man: the loving husband, the caring father, the generous friend, the proud Long Islander. With Jim, politics was never personal. He believed that our opponents were not our enemies and that the angels of our better nature should always carry the day. Jim knew that there was more, much more, to life than just politics and you could see that through the abiding love he had for his family.
Everyone who served with Jim will miss him dearly, and I will miss my friend deeply. Our entire Assembly family sends its thoughts, prayers and heartfelt condolences to his wife Debra and their children Sarah, Jeffrey and Samantha."