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A Former County Executive Dies

A former county executive who ran unsuccessfully against Mario Cuomo for governor of New York in the 1980s, has died after a long illness.

Andrew O’Rourke served as Westchester’s sixth county executive. The Republican was appointed in 1983 to succeed Alfred Del Bello, who resigned to become Lieutenant Governor. O’Rourke served as county executive until 1997, did not run again, and was succeeded by Democrat Andrew Spano. O’Rourke was then appointed by Governor George Pataki to the New York Court of Claims, and was elected to a 14-year term on the State Supreme Court. Prior to becoming county executive, O’Rourke had served as a county legislator, and before that, a Yonkers councilman.  O’Rourke ran against incumbent Democratic Governor Mario Cuomo in 1986, and became known for carrying around a cardboard cutout of Cuomo, against which he would debate.  Current Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, who said O’Rourke was full of wit and charm, directed that all flags at county property be flown at half-staff.