By Mark Gerlach
Lawrence Bennett, former state assemblyman and Newburgh town supervisor, died Wednesday night at the age of 92.
“Larry was a true inspiration,” Newburgh Town Supervisor Gil Piaquadio said. “A great leader with compassion for everyone he came in contact with.”
Bennett, a World War II veteran, served on the Newburgh Town Council from 1973 to 1978. He earned a seat on the board after two unsuccessful attempts in 1969 and 1971. He was reelected to a second term in 1977.
Bennett, a Democrat, went on to sit in the town supervisor’s chair from 1978 until 1982. He was elected in a special election due to the death of then incumbent Town Supervisor J. Malone Bannan, and was reelected to a full term as supervisor in 1979 and again in 1981. Bennett did not serve a full third term as supervisor because he was elected to the state assembly.
In 1982, he ran for New York State Assembly in a newly-created district and won. He was reelected another five times until he voluntarily retired in 1994. Assemblyman Tom Kirwan succeeded Bennett. Bennett served as a state assemblyman from 1982 to 1994.
“It is with deep sadness that I received the news of the passing of former Assemblyman and Newburgh Town Supervisor Larry Bennett,” said Deputy Orange County Executive Wayne Booth, who previously served as Newburgh town supervisor. “Larry was a true gentleman and professional public servant who served our town with integrity and dedication. I fondly remember his regular visits to the supervisor’s office to offer his advice and opinions on issues that were confronting the Town of Newburgh during my tenor as supervisor. His advice was always sincere and non-partisan and in the best interest of the residents of the town. He will be missed by all that knew him.”
For the complete story read the Friday, March 11 edition of The Sentinel.