WOODBURY - New York State Assemblyman James Conte has died at 53. The Huntington Station Republican, who had been battling cancer, recently retired to spend more time with friends and family. Conte was elected to represent Suffolk County in 1988. He spent more than two decades pushing to improve education and Long Island's environment. "Throughout his life, Jim was first, foremost and always a fighter," Assembly Republican Leader Brian Kolb said in a statement. "He fought tirelessly for his Long Island community and his constituents, fought to make New York state a better place for families and fought as a champion for organ and tissue donation to save lives and help ease suffering.""Jim will be remembered for his kindness and genuine concern for the well-being of others, and with his passing, our state has lost a true public servant and a man of integrity and character," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement.