He is the first Democrat not seeking higher office to retire.
“The main reason for making this decision now, is that I want to come home,” McNulty said in a speech Monday afternoon. “I do not intend to stop working, but I do want to have a job where, when Monday morning rolls around, I am not headed to the airport.”
He has suffered from post-polio syndrome, and said his medical condition, which causes him decreased stamina and mobility, also played a role in his decision.
McNulty’s Albany-based seat is solidly Democratic.
He overwhelmingly won re-election with 78 percent of the vote in 2006. The district gave Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) 55 percent of the vote in 2004.
McNulty has deep roots in New York Democratic politics – both his grandfather and father served in elective office around the Albany area, and his sister, Ellen McNulty Ryan, currently serves as Green Island mayor. McNulty served in the state Assembly and was tapped to run for the seat in 1988 after the sudden retirement of then-Democratic Rep. Samuel Stratton.