NORWICH – On Sunday, September 4, former New York State Assembly Minority Leader Clarence “Rapp” Rappleyea passed in the capitol where his 22 year tenure in the Assembly of wit and country wisdom gave credibility to bipartisan politics.
A wise country lawyer and Norwich native, among his most notable accomplishments in state politics Rappleyea was instrumental in moving the chains forward toward a republican gubernatorial term. Rappleyea would see his goal realized after one-term Senate republican George Pataki defeated three-term incumbent Mario Cuomo in 1994, becoming the first Republican Governor of New York since the 1970s.
“He helped me win my first Assembly race; and when so many tried to keep me from becoming the nominee for Governor, he believed in me, fought for me and worked tirelessly to help get me elected,” said former Governor George Pataki. “Rapp was a selfless public servant – loved and respected on both sides of the aisle, a wise counsel, a dear friend and always my leader.”
Senator James Seward of Oneonta recalls Rappleyea working tirelessly for his constituents. “As New York State Assembly Minority Leader, the greater needs of all state residents were always his priority,” said Steward. “He was able to find common ground with others no matter their politics and was universally respected and liked. I was proud to work closely with Rapp and call him a friend.”