New York politicians reflect on the life and legacy of Joseph Bruno

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The late New York Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno leaves behind a big impact on New York State politics.  Former Governor George Pataki said Bruno was “a man you could trust” and someone who was instrumental in making big changes. 

“Whether it’s the economic policies that allowed the state to grow, whether it was the criminal justice policies that let us become the safest big state in America, or the economic boom that we’ve seen in the Capital Region, a lot of that can be attributed to Joe Bruno’s leadership in the State Senate,” Pataki said.

Democrat Senator Neil Breslin served in the State Senate with Bruno for about ten years. 

“He would kid about me being a Democrat, he being a Republican, but it was always in a very warm and friendly way and not in a mean-spirited way, and I think when we think now that politics has become mean spirited, I think to act to that relationship and I treasure it,” Breslin said.

While current Republican Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt did not work with Bruno, he said he was a man of great influence. 

“Democrats and Republicans, the way they would talk about him and what he would speak of him, told me a lot about his leadership and the impact that he had not only on his district, which was significant, but on the institution, on the body on the Senate itself,” Ortt said.

After a long political career, Bruno resigned his seat in 2008 due to an FBI corruption investigation, and after years of litigation he was acquitted of all charges. Governor Andrew Cuomo said while he and Bruno shared different politics and political approaches, “… he was an honorable, respectful, sincere public servant who truly believed what he believed and worked very hard at it.” 

“I never saw Joe Bruno come on the floor when he wasn’t totally prepared. And presented himself extremely well and saved the Capital District, the Albany Airport, the Albany Institute of History and Art… he was just a tremendous influence in a positive way for the entire Capital District,” Breslin said.

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