Former New York State Assemblyman Herman “Denny” Farrell Jr. has died. He was 86.
A Democrat, Farrell represented parts of Manhattan from 1975 to 2017.
A former chair of the influential Ways and Means Committee, Farrell is being remembered by his past colleagues for his strong principles and, as Democratic Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie put it, his “uncanny ability to bridge divides.”
For Republican State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, it was a “daunting task” to debate budget issues with Farrell during his time in the Assembly, but Flanagan said his former colleague “always did so with civility and respect.”
Speaking with WAMC’s Dr. Alan Chartock in August 2017, Farrell described his approach to politics.
"I've found that, again, knowing people and being nice to people, you always got along. I got along with everyone," said Farrell. "If i didn't get along with you, I found a way to walk around you or over you or whatever. But I made a point of using that as a style -- just not sitting, fighting with people all the time. No. Keep away from it."
Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo said Farrell was a true public servant and "exemplified the best of politics." Cuomo has directed flags to be flown at half-staff on Tuesday, May 29th.