Herman D. Farrell, Jr.

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Herman D. Farrell, Jr. (born February 4, 1932) represents District 71 in the New York State Assembly, which comprises the Manhattan neighborhoods of West Harlem, Inwood and Washington Heights.

First elected to the New York Assembly in 1974, Farrell is the current Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, as well as a member of the Rules Committee and Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus. He was previously the Chairman of the Assembly Committee on Banks, from 1979 to 1994.

During his time in the State Legislature Assemblyman Farrell has played a pivotal role in the passage of several significant pieces of legislation, including the Omnibus Consumer Protection and Banking Legislation Act, which established a toll-free number at the New York State Banking Department that dispenses information about credit card interest rates, fees and grace periods, and a mandate for banks to furnish low-cost checking accounts to its customers.

He also played a pivotal role in the passage of the Neighborhood Preservation Companies Act, whereby New York State funds community organizations that "provide tenant advocacy."

However, Farrell is most widely known for being a prominent member of the state, and to a lesser extent, national Democratic Party. He was first elected as a Democratic State Committeeman in 1970, serving a two year term. Subsequently, he was elected as the Leader of the New York County Democratic Party (1981) and Vice-Chair of the New York State Democratic Party, in which capacity he served for a decade. He was Chairman of the New York State Democratic Committee from 2001 to 2006. He has also served as a member of the Democratic National Committee since 1988.

In 1985, Farrell made an unsuccessful bid to unseat Mayor Edward I. Koch in the Democratic primary for Mayor.

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New York Assembly
Preceded by
Mark Southall
New York State Assembly, 74th District
1975–1982
Succeeded by
Hector Diaz
Preceded by
Geraldine Daniels
New York State Assembly, 71st District
1983–present
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by
Judith H. Hope
New York State Democratic Committee Chairman
December 2001 – December 31, 2006
Succeeded by
June O'Neill/David Pollak