Cahill praises Larkin for his decades of service

Among the Democrats with warm words for Republican Sen. Bill Larkin after his retirement announcement on Thurday was Assemblyman Kevin Cahill of Kingston, who said in a statement that Larkin’s “decades of service have helped our communities in innumerable ways.”

“Though we frequently found ourselves on opposite sides of various issues, working with ‘The Colonel’ has been an honor and a privilege,” Cahill said. “Appearing with him locally at various events has consistently been a pleasure. A colorful figure who is never at a loss for a story that usually involved others present, Senator Bill Larkin is renowned for the importance he places on personal relationships and the respect he has always shown other elected officials, even those from the opposite party, even those several decades his junior.”

Cahill also reached across the aisle to praise Sen. John Bonacic, another Orange County Republican who represents part of Ulster County and who announced his own retirement a week before Larkin did. Cahill called Bonacic “a voice of reason and progress in the Republican Party” and an important Senate leader, and said his departure signals “the end of an era of senior leadership in the State Senate for our area.”

Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, a Long Island Republican, lauded Larkin on Thursday for his long career in public service and the high regard in which he was held by his fellow senators.

“Colonel Larkin would do anything for anyone; no questions asked and no debt ever to be repaid,” Flanagan said in a statement. “He is a humble man who drove important state resources to his Hudson Valley district not because he wanted the credit, but because he wanted to help. To this day, Senator Larkin would give you the shirt off his back or sit quietly and talk to a new colleague about what it means to be a public servant. Thousands and thousands of people are better off for having known him.”

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