HARRISBURG – Sen. Lisa Baker, R-20th, offered the following remarks on the Senate floor to honor Sen. Pat Vance, R-31st,who is retiring after 26 years in the state Legislature:
“It is not easy to say goodbye to Pat Vance, because she is more than a distinguished colleague – she is a dear friend, a special mentor, and a sterling example of how to serve the public interest.
Hers has been a demonstration of leading by word and deed. Strength of character, seriousness of commitment, steeliness of conviction, she showed us ways to act responsibly and to solve problems constructively. This was the basis for her solid reputation and sustained influence.
Her contributions during the consequential debates over health care were invaluable, the sort of expertise we never can have too much of. But no matter the issue, people knew they could count on her to be hardworking, thorough, perceptive, and decisive.
Pat got a lot done because she was not consumed by chasing after power or prestige. She wanted problems and issues tackled and solved in sensible and workable ways. She was as good as anyone at unmasking political nonsense masquerading as legitimate policy.
She brought to public office the sort of attributes that people appreciate – practical life experience, a clear set of principles, consistent community engagement.
On several occasions, her nursing skills, calm demeanor, caring hands assisted members and staff during their time of need.
In these times when we’ve been dismayed by too many examples of feckless and unethical behavior, Pat stood in sharp contrast – strong-willed and incorruptible.
Holding public office brought out her serious side, but in private she was refreshingly engaging and fun, with a wide range of interests. While we often referred to her as the Senator of Champions, Pat Vance was indeed the “super” fan for all of her sporting teams. But the CV Girls Basketball Team will always hold an extra special place in her heart.
We are fortunate and grateful that she gave twelve productive years as a state Senator. With her qualities and skills, there are many other places she could have been. The communities she served, and Pennsylvania as a whole, benefitted because she chose to keep contributing.
Pat may be stepping away from elected office, but I strongly doubt she is walking away from community issues and concerns. Her views will always matter; her counsel will always be sought. Our hope is that her manner and values never come to be regarded as old-fashioned. Rather, they should stand as a guidepost for all who know and respect her.
We wish her good health, and most of all, a lower handicap in her retirement.”
Andrew M. Seder