Lawrence C. “Larry” Long, chairman of the Columbia County Board of Elections, died Monday afternoon. He was 79.
Long, a Republican appointee on the three-member board, passed away at University Hospital a week after undergoing triple-bypass heart surgery, said fellow board member Neal Johnson.
“We’re all deeply saddened,” said Johnson, the board’s Democratic appointee. “We’ve grown quite close. He was a dear and close friend.”
A Martinez resident, Long had served nearly 12 years on the board. In recent months its members had dealt with the difficulties of replacing long-time elections director Deborah Marshall, who retired after brain surgery, and in fighting proposed legislation that would have changed the way board members are appointed.
“It’s a terrible thing for us,” Johnson said. “It seems like our board has really caught it this year. ... I know he was excessively worried and concerned about the board, and I’m sure that didn’t help any. Nobody can say what they cause was – only the good Lord knows that.”
Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.