Columbia County elections board chairman dies

 

Lawrence C. “Larry” Long, 79, the chairman of the Columbia County Board of Elections, died Monday afternoon.

Long, a Republican appointee on the three-member board for 12 years , died at University Hospital a week after undergoing triple-bypass heart surgery, fellow board member Neal Johnson said.

“We’re all deeply saddened,” said Johnson, the board’s Democratic appointee. “We’ve grown quite close. He was a dear and close friend.”

A Martinez resident, Long had served eight years on the board. In recent months, its members had dealt with the difficulties of replacing long-time elections Director Deborah Marshall, who retired after brain surgery, and in fighting proposed legislation that would have changed the way board members are appointed.

“It’s a terrible thing for us,” Johnson said. “It seems like our board has really caught it this year. … I know he was excessively worried and concerned about the board, and I’m sure that didn’t help any. Nobody can say what the cause was – only the good Lord knows that.”

Funeral arrangements had not been announced Monday.

 

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