November 28, 2011

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Assemblyman Kirwan dies

Thomas Kirwan

NEWBURGH – State Assemblyman Thomas Kirwan died Monday evening after suffering from ill health for some time, the State Assembly Minority’s regional director said.

Steven Neuhaus said Kirwan died with his family at his side while in the hospital.

“The Hudson Valley has lost a legend and a true patriot,” Neuhaus told

State Senator William Larkin, a long time colleague and friend of Kirwan’s, said he was respected statewide.

“Tommy Kirwan was one individual who went into public office and he told you what he believed, not what he thought you should hear,” he said. “His voice will be missed. His sincerely, and his commitment to good government, coupled with his honesty and integrity, will be cornerstones for all to vie for.”

Assemblyman Marc Molinaro, who is Dutchess County executive-elect, said Kirwan was “a steadfast voice for reform of the state legislature as a democratic institution.” He was “unabashed and unparalleled in his zeal for holding the very legislature accountable,” Molinaro said.

Governor Andrew Cuomo called Kirwan “an ardent voice for his community and the people of New York State.”

Orange County Executive Edward Diana called Kirwan “a crusader for common sense fiscal policies and reform in New York State.” He said the region has lost “a true champion.”

Orange County Legislator Michael Anagnostakis said Kirwan was “an honest man and always a fighter for the people.”

Kirwan had suffered from heart problems and a few years ago, suffered a minor cardiac incident while in Albany.

Kirwan represented the 100th Assembly District which included portions of eastern Orange County, southern Ulster County and Dutchess County.

The Republican lawmaker, who was a fiscal conservative, served for several years but lost a reelection bud three years ago, defeated the man who beat him, Democrat Frank Skartados.

Kirwan was known to speak his mind regardless of one’s political affiliation, often times taking on past governors and legislative leaders.

“He was always sharp as a tack and he really knew what was going on locally, on the state level, on the national and global level,” Neuhaus said.

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