Former Newport News, Virginia mayor Joe Frank dies

Joe Frank, the former Democratic mayor of Newport News, Virginia, has died. He was 79.

The mayor passed away at home Thursday in the city where he long resided, a local report said. 

Former Newport News mayor dies

Frank served as mayor from 1996 to 2010. He also served on the city council for many years.

The longest-serving mayor in the city’s history, he is credited with developing the City Center district.

The city called Frank a “devoted leader who served Newport News with honor, ingenuity, and compassion for over 22 years.”

Tim Kaine, the Virginia senator (D) and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 running mate, paid tribute to Frank in a statement.

“He was a friend and mentor,” Kaine said. “I will miss him greatly.”

“Pillar of our community”

Congressman Bobby Scott (D-Va.) also shared his condolences, calling Frank a “pillar of our community. ”

“Joe’s positive influence and impact on Newport News can still be felt in every corner of the city. I will greatly miss his friendship and counsel,” Scott said.

Frank was also a practicing lawyer and chairman of the local Democratic party, as well as a lifelong resident of the city.

A law partner, Joshua M. David, said Frank was known to “virtually everyone in the city.”

“I’ve known Joe as long as I can remember,” he said. “And he’s just a person who spent his life taking care of other people and helping other people.”