NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Former New York State Sen. Catherine Abate, a longtime advocate of health care and criminal justice issues, died this past weekend at the age of 66.

Abate’s husband, Ronald Kleigerman, said his wife died Saturday. She had been diagnosed with cancer a couple of years ago.

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Abate was elected to the state Senate in 1994 and served four years, representing parts of Manhattan.

Before that, she served as commissioner of the city departments of Correction and Probation in the administration of Mayor David Dinkins.

For more than the past decade, Abate was the president and chief executive officer of the Community Healthcare Network.

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She ran in 1998 for New York State Attorney General, losing the race to Eliot Spitzer.

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) issued a statement calling Abate “a fearless champion of many important causes.”

Along with her husband, Abate is survived by her son.

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