RIP, Bill Lynch (Updated)
Former NYC Councilman and longshot mayoral candidate Sal Albanese just broke the sad news that legendary Democratic political consultant Bill Lynch, best known as the architect of the campaign that elected the Big Apple’s first black mayor, David Dinkins, has died.
“I just learned that Bill Lynch, one of the greatest political strategists of a generation, passed away,” Albanese said.
“Bill was the architect of David Dinkins’ history-making campaign and, as a Deputy Mayor, was always responsive to the needs of the neighborhoods I represented on the City Council. I’ll never forget our time together on the campaign trail. He was funny, smart, and never stopped working to change our city for the better. He’ll be sorely missed.”
UPDATE: Lynch’s death was just formally confirmed via a statement issued by the PR firm Sunshine Sachs on behalf of his son, Stacy Lynch. Bill Lynch died at Columbia Presbyterian hospital at 1:28 p.m. from complications from kidney disease, according to the release. He was 72 years old.
Lynch, often referred to as the “rumpled genius” of New York politics, has long headed the consulting firm that bears his name, Bill Lynch Associates. For many years, he was THE go-to guy in Harlem – closely connected to African American elected officials and power brokers, and therefore much sought out by politicians both black and white.
No doubt the statements will soon be pouring in. In the meantime, here’s a shot of Lynch and Dinkins from BLA’s website, (which, by the way, is under construction – except for the slideshow part that features Lynch with photos of prominent city, state, national and even international (Nelson Mandela) leaders.
UPDATE: Here’s a statement from NYC Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, who worked in the Dinkins administration:
“Bill Lynch was a giant in New York City politics, and – on a personal level – a mentor and a friend to me for the last 25 years.”
“Sometimes we were on the same side, sometimes we were on opposite sides, but he was always on the side of economic and social justice for New Yorkers. He inspired two generations of activists and public servants to make a difference in this city. He will be sorely missed by many, including Chirlane and myself. Our hearts go out to his entire family.”
Also, NY1′s Courtney Gross Tweeted that NYC Comptroller and mayoral candidate John Liu has suspended campaigning for the rest of the day.
Lynch ran Liu’s first successful campaign for comptroller – putting together a so-called “rainbow coalition” similiar to the one he engineered for Dinkins, and remained a supporter even as many abandoned Liu during his fundraising scandal. Liu’s statement:
“Bill Lynch is a true friend and mentor to generations of countless mentors, leaders, trailblazers, organizers and activists. Words cannot express the deep grief felt throughout New York, including the Team Liu Family of which Uncle Bill is the patriarch. I would not be where nor who I am today without Bill Lynch.”
Some more background on Lynch from the Sunshine Sachs release:
Prior to his work in government, Lynch served as director of Legislation and Political Action for District Council 1701 of AFSCME, and played key roles in the presidential campaigns of Jesse Jackson and Walter Mondale.
When Mandela was released from prison in 1990, Lynch coordinated his New York welcome celebration. The next year, he organized the mayor’s diplomatic mission to South Africa, and was a key adviser to Mandela himself during his presidential campaign.
President Bill Clinton appointed Lynch to the Democratic National Committee in 1997, where he served as vice chair until 2003. He was deputy campaign manager for now-Secretary of State John Kerry’s 2004 presidential bid, and served as a key adviser to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, despite overtures from then-Sen. Barack Obama.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Liz Benjamin on August 9, 2013 at 5:09 pm, and is filed under Consultants, Democrats, Downstate NY, Uncategorized. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|