NY State Agriculture Commissioner Darrel Aubertine stepping down

New York state Agriculture Commissioner Darrel Aubertine is resigning.

The northern New York farmer and former state legislator served three years in the Cuomo administration, drawing a salary of about $106,000.

The Democrat's resignation was first reported by The Watertown Times.

Republican Patty Ritchie beat Aubertine in 2010 with 52 percent of the vote in the state Senate district that included Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties.

Aubertine's loss was a blow to Democrats trying to gain the Senate majority. The majority is now run by Republicans with four Democrats in the Independent Democratic Conference, with traditional Democrats in the minority.

The Cuomo administration confirmed the resignation Friday. It is effective next week.

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