Longtime New York Democratic politician Alan Hevesi passes away at 83

November 10, 2023

While former President Donald Trump was famously raised in the New York City borough of Queens, he isn't the only political figure to hail from the area.

This week, a Democratic lawmaker who Trump once donated $45,000 to was found dead in an assisted living facility. 

A career spanning decades

According to The New York Times, 83-year-old Alan G. Hevesi passed away on Thursday in the small Long Island community known as East Meadow. Hevesi's son revealed that his father's death stemmed from dementia.

The Times noted that Hevesi's decades-long political career began when the political science professor began in 1971 when he was elected to represent Forest Hills, Queens in the New York State Assembly.

Hevesi went on to score an upset victory a dozen years later when he snatched the Democratic Party's nomination for New York City comptroller from incumbent candidate and former Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman.

From there, Hevesi went on to defeat his Democrat-turned-Republican opponent Herman Badillo in the general election by a margin of 56% to 41%.

Hevesi pleaded guilty to having state employee do personal tasks

Hevesi's tenure as comptroller gained widespread recognition for his use of city pension funds to pressure Swiss banks into indemnifying the heirs of Holocaust victims whose account balances were lost.

He attempted to make a mayoral run in 2001 but took fourth place in the Democratic Party's primary race, losing to eventual candidate Mark Green.

However, Hevesi successfully captured his party's nomination the following year for state comptroller and later bested Republican John Faso.

Hevesi remained in that position until 2006 when a state ethics commission concluded that he had illegally assigned a state employee to do personal chores.

Although Hevesi did manage to secure reelection that year, he stepped down a month later and entered into a plea bargain agreement with prosecutors.

Current New York state comptroller praises Hevesi's legacy

Hevesi's passing was met with tributes online, including one from current New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.

In a post on the social media platform previously known as Twitter, he described Hevesi as "a long-serving public servant" who "cared deeply about Queens, fiercely debated issues he cared about and fought hard for school fiscal accountability."

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