Longtime New York City political consultant Bill Lynch passed away today. He was 72. A statement from Lynch’s family said that the cause of death was complications from kidney disease.
Lynch was instrumental in helping David Dinkins win election as the city’s first African-American mayor and was one of Dinkins’ chief advisers during his administration, serving as deputy mayor for intergovernmental affairs. He would later leave the Dinkins administration to run Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign operation in New York. Clinton would later appoint Lynch to the Democratic National Committee in 1997, where he served as vice-chair until 2003.
Lynch’s influence extended internationally as well, advising Nelson Mandela during South Africa’s transition from apartheid and his subsequent presidential campaign.
Prior to his work in government, Lynch served as Director of Legislation and Political Action for District Council 1701 of AFSCME, as well as playing key roles in the presidential campaigns of Jesse Jackson and Walter Mondale.
Lynch started his own consulting firm in 1999, advising Democratic campaigns and politicians, as well as providing lobbying and consulting services to corporations. Among his clients was Hillary Clinton during both of her Senate campaigns and her 2008 presidential campaign, as well as 2004 presidential candidate John Kerry.
A committed philanthropist, Lynch served on the boards of Advancement Project, the Black Institute, the Children’s Defense Fund, Long Island University, the Museum for African Art, Shared Interest, the New York Organ Donor Network, and the Hamilton Heights-Sugar Hill Historic Commission.
Most recently, Lynch was the primary campaign consultant for Democratic mayoral candidate John Liu. The Liu campaign issued a statement and canceled their remaining public events for the day.
“Bill Lynch is a true friend and mentor to generations of countless mentors, leaders, trailblazers, organizers and activists,” Liu’s statement read. “Words cannot express the deep grief felt throughout New York, including the Team Liu Family of which Uncle Bill is the patriarch. I would not be where nor who I am today without Bill Lynch.”
Lynch is survived by his wife, Mary; son and political consultant, William Lynch III; daughter and attorney, Stacy R Lynch, and grandson, William Lynch IV. Funeral arrangements are pending.