Former Rep. Maurice Hinchey Dies at 79

Longtime New York Democrat had frontotemporal dementia

Former Rep. Maurice D. Hinchey served 10 terms in Congress, retiring in 2013. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Rep. Maurice D. Hinchey, a longtime Democratic congressman from New York, died Wednesday. He was 79.

He had been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, or FTD, his family announced in June amid the debate over repealing the 2010 health care law.

First elected in 1992, Hinchey represented parts of New York’s Southern Tier, as well as Poughkeepsie and other parts of the the Hudson Valley in Congress for 20 years, before retiring in 2013. He was a senior member of the Appropriations Committee

“Congressman Maurice Hinchey passed away peacefully at his home in Saugerties this afternoon,” his family said in a statement, according to the Poughkeepsie Journal. “He was a beloved statesman, and cherished for his work in the community and nationwide.”

Hinchey’s FTD diagnosis came after he overcame colon cancer. The disease causes nerve cell damage and leads to loss of function in brain regions.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer recalled on Twitter that he had known Hinchey since the two served together in the New York state Assembly in the 1970s. 

“‘Mighty Moe’ as I used to call him was a man of great conviction, principle, endless energy & rare legislative ability,” Schumer said. “He cut a unique figure throughout the Hudson Valley & the Southern Tier & was passionately committed to the environment & to preserving that region’s priceless open & wild spaces. He will be sorely missed.”

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