Former Congressman Benjamin Gilman who represented Greenburgh in the House of Representatives for many years passed away this morning. Congressman Gilman served as the chairman of the House Committee on International Relations and was well liked by Democrats and Republicans in Washington and locally. I was the Democratic nominee for Congress against Congressman Gilman twice (in 1998 and in 2000). I remember going to Washington to meet with the Democratic Congressional leadership. I introduced myself as a candidate for Congress against Mr. Gilman –and they looked at me, didn’t even say good luck-providing me with no encouragement. I should have gotten the message that even high ranking Democrats in Washington liked Ben Gilman.
Congressman Gilman fought against international drug trafficking, was a big supporter of Israel and was known for his outstanding constituent services. When I ran against him in Rockland and Orange Counties almost everyone I spoke with had received help from him or knew someone who his office has helped. He had helped thousands of people overcome government red tape.
Congressman Gilman will be missed by many people –whose lives he touched.