Larry Elovich, venerated political advisor and attorney, dies at 77

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Since 1975, Elovich served as a director of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association; was a former chairman of the Nassau County Bar Association's legislative committee and served as a member of the Governor's Judicial Screening Committee. Elovich continued to serve as an advisor to local, state and national political figures — his office is teeming with photos of him with everyone from his close friend D'Amato to former President Bill Clinton — and he continued to practice law until his death.

"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, a local realtor, adding that Elovich's death is a "tremendous" loss to the city. "He was a very outgoing person — he would have lunch with Mayor [Michael] Bloomberg and President [George] 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 ..."

Many said Elovich was active during a tumultous time in the city, particularly in the 1970s and '80s. Fleishman, a former chairman of the chamber who has known Elovich for more than 50 years, said that as chamber President, Elovich helped attract new businesses to the city.

"He would back projects that needed to be done," Fleishman said. "He changed the business look of our community running the Chamber of Commerce for the past 25 years, and we have the lowest vacancy rate in Nassau County for stores. He helped revitalize the Long Beach business community during his time as chamber President, attracting new businesses and working with the city to clean Park Avenue, maintain a cleaner city and working with the Rec [Center] to foster in more concerts and the arts."

In a 2007 interview, Elovich noted Long Beach's economic decline in the 1960s, when the state began emptying out its mental institutions and renting out summer homes in Long Beach to house addicts and mental patients. Fleishman and others said that Elovich was among those who helped the city turn a corner in the early 1980s, when decrepit buildings began to be demolished.

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