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Senator Daniel Squadron to resign; says NY is ‘particularly seedy’ example of corruption

NEW YORK — State Senator Daniel Squadron, who represents several Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan neighborhoods, suddenly announced his resignation Wednesday morning.

New York State Senator Daniel Squadron speaks on the steps of New York City Hall in support of the proposed Fairness and Equity Act, which would attempt to reform racially biased arrests in regards to marijuana possession in New York state on July 9, 2014, in New York City. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

In a NY Daily News column, published shortly before announcing his resignation through email, he cited corruption and the country's growing divide as represented by President Donald Trump's victory as reasons for his decision.

The senator's resignation takes effect Friday.

"I believe stronger candidates, a sharpened approach and better policies at the state level can help turn the tide nationally," Squadron wrote in the article, headlined, "Why I'm leaving the N.Y. Senate."

Squadron plans to address this "crisis" by launching a national effort alongside entrepreneur Adam Pritzker and Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University, "joining others already doing important work toward 2018 and beyond."

Corruption has grown out of a combination of political dealmaking, big money and public distraction, Squadron writes, calling New York a "particularly seeding example," though not the only state where divisive politics have festered.

Interests have been manipulated to benefit the financial gain of the Koch brothers, "and very few others," at the expense of economic opportunities for the many, according to Squadron.

"The last election reflected a growing divide — based on geography, background, opportunity and even truth — that threatens our democracy and our future," Squadron said.

Squadron was first elected in 2008 in a season of hope and change, he stated in the email, apparently harkening back to former President Obama's campaign slogans.

In the emailed statement, which was later posted online, Squadron wrote in part:

Like many across the country, since November, I’ve thought a lot about how best to change the direction of our country, and stand up for core values that are under threat. After much reflection, I have decided to lend my hand to make a difference in states across the country, pushing policies and candidates that will create a fairer and more democratic future.

It's not possible to take on this challenge and continue to be a full-time legislator, which is what I always promised I would be.

During his time in office, Squadron notes his pride in securing millions for public housing, waterfront parks and flood resiliency after Hurricane Sandy, among other accomplishments.

The 26th District Senate seat will be filled in the November election, Squadron states. Until then, he said the partisan balance of the chamber will not be impacted.

The seat represents the following Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan neighborhoods: Brooklyn Heights, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, the Columbia Waterfront, DUMBO, Downtown Brooklyn, Fulton Ferry, Greenpoint, the Navy Yard, Vinegar Hill, Williamsburg, Battery Park City, Chinatown, the East and South Villages, the Financial District, Little Italy, the Lower East Side, SoHo and TriBeCa.