Newburgh mayor stays involved despite cancer diagnosis

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An Orange County mayor is not letting cancer stop her from serving the community that she loves.

Newburgh Mayor Judy Kennedy sat down with News 12 Friday for an interview about her hopes for the struggling city as she battles stage 3 ovarian cancer.

Mayor Kennedy was diagnosed with cancer last year, and has taken more of a backseat at City Hall in recent several months. She told News 12 that she is not pursuing chemotherapy.

"My greatest hope is people lay down their sharp tongues and their weapons and decide to work together," said Kennedy.

Kennedy's career in Newburgh began in 2012 after she left corporate America and moved to the Hudson Valley from Idaho. She says she fell in love with the potential she saw in the struggling, inner-city community.

"I kept looking for someone else to run for mayor and then I said, ‘It looks like it's up to me,’" said Kennedy.

Since then, she has worked to change Newburgh's reputation as one of the most dangerous places to live in America - focusing on reducing crime, bringing in business and revitalizing neighborhoods.

"It's slow progress. We don't have any money. We've been a cash-strapped city forever," said Kennedy.

As City Hall carries on without her these past few months, Kennedy has faith that the city is in good hands.

"God bless you all. Not only have you helped make this city a better place, you've also helped keep me going,” she said.

Kennedy says she hasn't missed a single council meeting or vote – attending sessions twice a month, sometimes for hours.

Go HERE for an extended interview with Kennedy.

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