ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Longtime New York state Assemblyman Herman "Denny" Farrell Jr. has announced that he'll retire from his Manhattan seat next month.

The 85-year-old Democrat announced Monday that he'll retire Sept. 5 to spend more time with his family and to deal with unspecified health issues.

Farrell was first elected in 1974 in the 71st Assembly District in northern Manhattan. He's currently the chairman of the chamber's Ways and Means Committee, a post he has held for the past 23 years.

Because his retirement will be official just a week before the state primaries, New York County Democratic leaders will select his replacement. Farrell says he supports his chief of staff, Al Taylor, to succeed him.

Farrell ran for mayor of New York City in 1985, losing to incumbent Democrat Edward Koch.

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