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Updated 07/12/2010 09:47 PM
Senator Morahan passes away
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HUDSON VALLEY, N.Y. -- The state is mourning the loss of a state senator from the Hudson Valley. Tom Morahan passed away after a long battle with leukemia.
The Senator represented the 38th Senate District that included the five Rockland County towns of Clarkstown, Haverstraw, Orangetown, Ramapo and Stony Point and the two Orange County towns of Tuxedo and Warwick.
Morahan was known for his independent streak. He was one of two GOP senators to accept Senate Democratic Conference Leader John Sampson's offer to chair a committee and began to chair the Mental Health Committee.
Our political team spoke with Senate Minority Leader Dean Skelos who says Morahan was a great leader and will be missed by all of his colleagues and friends at the Capitol.
"Tom Morahan was a great Senator, a great friend. Yes he was a proud republican, but he understood bipartisanship, he understood governing in a non-partisan way and he always achieved results. For his conference, for his constituents and for the disabled," Skelos said.
Rockland County Executive Scott Vanderhoef has already announced his intention to seek Morahan's seat. He is being challenged by 29-year-old Clarkstown Town Clerk David Carlucci.
Senate Majority Conference Leader John Sampson released a statement expressing his condolences to the friends and family of the late senator. Sampson addressed Morahan's ability to be fair and work in a bipartisan way.
"Senator Morahan showed all of us we could put partisanship aside and work together to build a stronger New York," Sampson said in a statement.
The State Republican Party has also released a statement about Morahan's death.
In it, the party says, "He was the consummate citizen and will be greatly missed... He thrived on aggressively representing the interests of his constituents and his time in office characterized the best traditions of public service."
Executive Director Thomas Basile goes on to say their hearts and prayers are with the senator's entire family.