State Assemblyman Anthony D’Urso (D-Port Washington) will not seek re-election this year, his office announced Tuesday.
D’Urso, 80, was elected in the 16th Assembly District in 2016 and won a second term in 2018. The district includes Great Neck, Port Washington, Manhasset, Roslyn Heights, North Hills, Flower Hill, Lake Success, Baxter Estates, Manorhaven and Sands Point.
Before serving in the Assembly, D’Urso had worked for over 30 years in New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development, where he became the department’s assistant commissioner of the Division of Architecture Engineering and Construction. He also served as a councilman for the Town of North Hempstead from 1991 to 2005.
After leaving his councilman post, D’Urso focused on humanitarian work. He helped to establish an orphanage for children devastated by the 2010 Haitian earthquake, worked in rural Nicaragua building houses, schools, community centers and water projects; and traveled to Kenya to build schools and provide children with food, uniforms and school supplies, and undertook over volunteer 40 trips.
D’Urso, who emigrated to America as a 21-year-old from his birthplace in Formia, Italy, frequently speaks on his experiences as a child during World War II, when he assisted his parents in hiding Jewish families from invading Nazi forces. In 2019, Pope Francis met with the assemblyman and his family at the Vatican, where the pontiff honored him for his actions during the war.
On the North Shore, D’Urso lived with his wife, Maria, and four children in New Hyde Park for 35 years before moving to Port Washington. He also worked with youth sports teams and served as president of the Cellini Lodge of the Order Sons of Italy in America in New Hyde Park.
In his statement, D’Urso said he was resigning to spend more time with his family, mainly his grandchildren.
“In 2016, the constituents of the 16th Assembly District graciously gave me the chance to be their voice in Albany,” D’Urso said in his statement. “I have cherished representing the 16th Assembly District, and I will be forever grateful for the opportunity. I have dedicated my life to giving back to my community, my state and the world to try and make it a better place. I truly hope that I have.”
A spokesperson for the assemblyman’s local office said she could not immediately comment.