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NYSNYS NEWS: Educator and Marchione Senate opponent Brian Howard dies in accidental fall.
NYSNYS NEWS: Educator and Marchione Senate opponent Brian Howard dies in accidental fall.

By Kyle Hughes

ALBANY, N.Y. (February 20) Retired school administrator and 2014 state Senate candidate Brian Howard died Friday after being critically injured in a fall at his Troy home.

There was no confirmation from Howard's family, but condolences appeared on his Facebook page shortly after 3 p.m. Friday, the same time as the first reports came in that he had passed away. "Rest in peace Brian, you were a great man and mentor," one campaign aide wrote on Facebook.

Little was known about the accident, though TV stations reported Howard was trying to clear snow from a roof. Albany Medical Center Hospital officials said Friday they had no information to release about Howard.

Rensselaer County Democratic Chair Tom Wade said Friday he's gotten several calls, but knows little about what happened. "I'm in shock over it," Wade said. "He was the nicest guy, capable and caring."

Howard, 65, was a longtime Troy teacher and school superintendent, and retired from his last job as superintendent of the Queensbury School District near Glens Falls. He had also worked in the Chatham School District as a principal for many years.

"Brian did a great job when he was here ... He was real child advocate," Queensbury Superintendent Douglas Huntley said Friday. Huntley succeeded Howard as superintendent.

Howard ran for the state Senate last fall as Senator Kathy Marchione's Democratic opponent. Marchione, the former longtime Saratoga County clerk, was easily re-elected to a second term.

At the one and only debate of the race, Howard said his father was a high school dropout and his mother was the first person in her family to graduate high school.

"I am not a career politician," Howard said. "I am a career educator. I'm a teacher, principal and superintendent. When I went to Queensbury where I retired, it was ranked number 20. When I left it was ranked number 10. We had the lowest per pupil cost of any school in the region."

He said he was running for the Legislature because jobs for young people are disappearing from the district, which covers the eastern Hudson Valley from Glens Falls to just north of Kingston.

Howard expressed his support for legal abortion and criticized the SAFE Act at the event, though he drew boos from the mostly pro-Marchione crowd when he mentioned that most New Yorkers support Gov. Andrew Cuomo's signature gun control law.