NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Christine Quinn hung up her gavel as speaker of the New York City Council after its final meeting of the year on Thursday.

Quinn said she was honored and proud to serve the council as speaker for eight years, 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported.

“I am extraordinarily grateful to have gotten to lead it for eight years, and to have been associated with it for most of my career. And I will miss it, I have no doubt,” Quinn said.

The now-former speaker had hoped to become the city’s first female and first openly gay mayor.  Quinn was a leading Democratic mayoral candidate early in this year’s race, however, she ultimately placed third in the primary.

Still, Quinn said it’s been a great ride. “The crappy days, the hard days — they were on behalf of New Yorkers, on behalf of my colleagues and I’ve loved every minute of it.

“I’ve worked in and around thie building since the late 1980s, starting as a housing organizer,” she told reporters, including WCBS 880’s Jim Smith.

She touted her work over the years on issues such improving housing, women’s health and fighting tobacco use and corruption.

The council passed 26 pieces of legislation Thursday, including bills that pave the way for bans on electronic cigarettes and plastic foam containers.

“I have enormous respect for the power of the New York City Council,” Quinn said. ” … So I love this place in a way that most people would not think of people loving local legislative bodies.”

Quinn wouldn’t comment on what she plans to do next professionally or on who she favors to take her spot as speaker.

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