Former Governor Hugh Carey’s death Sunday impacted politicians statewide, prompting strong responses from many. NY1’s Grace Rauh filed the following report.
Former Mayor Ed Koch offered high praise for Hugh Carey, the former governor who passed away at his summer home on Shelter Island Sunday.
“Governor Carey should be perceived as the greatest governor of the modern era in New York,” said Koch.
He served with Carey in Congress, and he was mayor of New York for five years when Carey was governor.
Former Carey aide Bill Cunningham said that his old boss deserves credit not only for rescuing the city from financial collapse in the 1970s, but for laying the groundwork for long-term stability.
“All of the mechanisms that exist now to help a mayor and a governor manage the finances of the city were created by Governor Carey and his team,” said Cunningham.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg called Carey a friend and a mentor and praised him for making difficult choices and setting aside differences with others.
“Given the national events of the past week, his loss is a poignant reminder of how badly we need more elected leaders with the character and courage of Hugh Carey," said Bloomberg in a statement.
Governor Andrew Cuomo was so taken by Carey's approach to governing that he gave labor leaders copies of Carey's biography, "The Man Who Saved New York." It tells of unions teaming up with the governor to avert financial disaster.
Cuomo's father served as lieutenant governor under Carey.
"His administration was not marked with partisan fights or ideological gridlock," said Cuomo in a statement. "He used his charisma, wit, and intellect to succeed."
Some say Carey's legacy is not as well known as it should be, but that may soon change, at least for drivers of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. State lawmakers have already approved a plan to rename the tunnel for the former governor, but the signs haven't been changed yet to reflect the new name.
“I would hope that Governor Cuomo would hold a ceremony there,” said Koch.
Koch wants to make sure that those who knew Carey best have a chance to talk publicly about his legacy and let New Yorkers know how lucky they were to have him.