Former Deputy Erie County Executive Jim Keane has died suddenly.
Sam Hoyt, Regional President of Empire State Development, confirmed with 7 Eyewitness News that Keane passed away Monday.
Keane had a lengthy career in regional democratic politics. Notably, in 1987, he ran unsuccessfully against Dennis Gorski for the Erie County Executive position. As a testament to his intellect and the respect people had for him, Gorski tapped him as Deputy County Executive.
"Keane was a legend in local democratic circles," Hoyt said.
Erie County Board of Elections Democratic Commissioner Len Lenihan calls Keane's passing a great loss.
"[Keane] was a tremendous public official, a fine individual, and a great democrat," Lenihan told 7 Eyewitness News.
Keane was one of 16 children, according to Hoyt.
He and his wife, Margaret, have four children.
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