Colleagues mourn loss of long-time Assemblyman, Richard Brodsky

Photo courtesy of the New York State Assembly
Richard Brodsky, right, pictured here with former Congressman Mike McNulty, died on April 8 at the age of 73. He had symptoms consistent with the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Former Assemblyman Richard Brodsky died on Wednesday, April 8 from what was believed to be coronavirus-related complications. Brodsky was 73. 

The death was first reported by Lohud, which stated, “He was tested on Friday, but had not received the results back.” However, Brodsky was reported to have suffered from an underlying heart condition as well. 

The New York Assemblyman was a part of the state Legislature for 27 years – between 1983 and 2010. Over Brodksy’s 14-terms, he sponsored the Public Authorities Reform Act, served as the Chair of the Environmental Conservation Committee, helped create the New York State School Tax Relief Program, and made a number of other remarkable differences.

In 2006, Brodsky planned to run for Attorney General of New York before having to step down with plans of donating a kidney to one of his daughters. 

Brodsky wrote his last column for the Albany Times Union on March 29, where he examined Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

WAMC remembers Brodsky as being, “known for his wit and his feistiness, and he championed many reforms, including successfully establishing a watchdog body over the state’s secretive public authorities.”

Former colleagues are also mourning the loss of Brodsky and celebrating his career as a public servant.

“Richard’s understanding of complex policy issues and his ability to articulate his position were things many lawmakers and politicians aspire toward,” Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay, R-Pulaski, said. “His tenacity and spirit were laudable and those who knew him well could attest to his unyielding dedication to improving the state he loved.”

“I can’t imagine anyone giving this virus a bigger fight, but it has taken this tenacious, intelligent, and passionate voice from us,” Dutchess County Executive and former Republican Assemblyman Marc Molinaro said. “It was my pleasure to debate against, collaborate and serve with, and accept advice from Richard. I extend my thoughts and prayers to his family and friends.”

“I am so saddened to hear of our former colleague in the Assembly and friend, the Hon. Richard Brodsky, passed away overnight from COVID-19,” Assemblyman Walter T. Mosely, D-Brooklyn, wrote on Twitter. “In our last interaction, like a true progressive, Richard served as our lead attorney and was victorious in our fusion voting lawsuit earlier this year. His passion for the preservation of our democracy and our nation’s principles was second to none. His deep spirit and passion for our state and nation will truly be missed.”

“I am saddened at the passing of former-Assemblyman Richard Brodsky,” Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, D-Yonkers, said in a tweet. “Richard was a fierce advocate for his constituents, and I was proud to stand with him as a member of the Westchester delegation to the State Legislature.”

Assemblymember Kevin A. Cahill, D-Kingston, remembers Brodsky as a “gregarious, acerbic, brilliant and unique statesman.”

In a statement Cahill said, “In these times when each of us is getting to that inevitable point of having the tragedy of this virus directly impact our personal lives, that time has arrived for many of us in Albany. 

“A tenacious and serious advocate for the environment, for consumers and for the rule of law as every graced the halls of our State Capitol, Richard Brodsky was also incredibly funny.”

Brodsky is survived by his wife Paige and his two daughters, Emlin and Willie.