Long Beach loses a leader

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“We would have this huge party every year where literally a couple of thousand people would come,” Elovich told the Herald in 2008.

He became the Fire Department’s attorney in the early 1960s. “He would always say that that was his introduction to politics,” said Chamber of Commerce President and Fire Commissioner Michael Kerr. “It gave him an inkling of political life, and he loved it.”

Elovich served as chairman of the Long Beach Democratic Committee from 1967 to 1973 and, though he never ran for public office, he became one of the most powerful political leaders in Nassau County.

“He’s like a legend in Long Beach,” said his close friend Stanley Fleishman. “… He made Long Beach the strongest political Democratic party in Nassau County. But he was more than just a local politician. He’s known throughout the state and respected by both parties.”

Elovich was president of the Chamber of Commerce from 1981 to 2006, and he continued to serve as its board chairman until his death.

A beloved advisor

Elovich was an advisor to local, state and national political figures — his office is full of photos of him with everyone from D’Amato to former President Bill Clinton — and he was regularly sought out by residents for his advice.

“He was a very honorable person — he helped a lot of people as a friend, not just as an attorney,” said his friend Joe Ponte. “He … would have lunch with Mayor Bloomberg and President Bush. He shook hands with senators, governors and presidents. He also made his own mark, and he was part of the fabric of Long Beach — he touched a lot of people. Politically, he built a lot of bridges …”

At the funeral, DiNapoli grew teary-eyed, saying that he would miss the birthday dinners and Elovich’s “smelly” cigars and Brooklyn stories. “No one is more loyal to his friends than Larry,” he said. “When I was at the lowest point in my career, Larry was there for me. I can hear his words today: ‘What matters is that you pick yourself up and move forward when you’re down.’”

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