Manhattan Democratic Party Mistakenly Announces Legendary Pol’s Death

A birthday party for James McManus in 2009. (Photo: Facebook)

A birthday party for James McManus in 2009. (Photo: Facebook)

The Manhattan Democratic Party accidentally announced the death of one of its most legendary figures this morning.

The party, led by Assemblyman Keith Wright, blasted out an email at 9:17 a.m. announcing the death of James McManus, a longtime Democratic district leader who leads the storied McManus Midtown Democratic Club in Hell’s Kitchen.

It was Mr. McManus’ sister–not Mr. McManus himself–who had actually died.

“It is with a heavy heart that I announce the passing of beloved District Leader Jim McManus. A district leader for more than half a century, Jim loyally served his beloved neighborhood, Hell’s Kitchen,” Mr. Wright wrote in the email. “Born into a family with a strong political and democratic tradition, he was a firm believer in the collective power of political organizing. He was a pioneer, upstanding citizen and dear friend. He will be greatly missed by us all.”

Almost 20 minutes later, Mr. Wright sent out another email with the header “CORRECTION.”

“The previous email was sent in error. We apologize for any confusion,” Mr. Wright wrote. “It is with a heavy heart that I announce the passing of Maureen Spillane, loving sister of beloved District Leader Jim McManus.”

Mr. McManus was not too taken aback by Mr. Wright’s error.

“It put a little humor in a sad time. That’s all,” Mr. McManus, 78, said.

Mr. McManus has been the Democratic district leader in Hell’s Kitchen for more than fifty years, leading one of the last Tammany Hall Democratic clubs in the city.

A funeral for Ms. Spillane will be held on Wednesday. Kathleen McCadden, the interim executive director for the Manhattan Democratic Party, declined to comment for this story.

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