Last night, Senator Thomas Morahan lost his six-month battle with leukemia at the age of 78. Sen. Morahan represented Rockland and Orange Counties for over 10 years in the NY Senate, and though he was Republican, he was the most likely of the Right to reach across the aisle. Out of respect, the Democratic Majority made the historic move of naming him Chairman of the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Committee while he was in the minority. He had broad support on both sides, as evidenced by the fact that he won reelection in 2008 with nearly 80% of the vote despite a Democratic enrollment advantage and Obama at the top of the ticket.
You can read about the good things people are saying about him on Celeste Katz’s piece here.
Politically, this doesn’t actually mean much for the election in the 38th Senate District. Morahan announced in May that he would not be seeking reelection, and because the seat is becoming vacant after April, there will be no special election to fill the remainder of the term. Republican Rockland County Executive Scott Vanderhoef will face off in November against either David Carlucci, the 29 year old Town Clerk of Clarkstown, who has been endorsed by Orange County Democrats, Rockland County Democrats, and Nina Lowey or Grant Valentine .
Farewell Senator. You will be missed.