The Indiana House honored the longest-serving lawmaker in state history Wednesday, Rep. Pat Bauer (D-South Bend).
Lawmakers regularly honor outgoing members – Bauer’s just came with an extra bit of history. Remarks from his colleagues ranged from the humorous, like Rep. Phil GiaQuinta’s (D-Fort Wayne):
“In 1971, you passed your first bill – tax exemption for the aged," GiaQuinta says. "Which might come in handy now.”
To the heartfelt, like Rep. Earl Harris (D-East Chicago)’s, whose father served with Bauer for 33 years before his death.
“I will miss him being here but what I really want to thank him – excuse me, sorry – for is the relationship and friendship that he had with my father," Harris says. "That meant so much to my mother and I.”
Bauer’s parting words included some old stories and a thanks to his fellow legislators.
“You’re sacrificing but you’re trying to do something that’s good – you’re trying to help your community," Bauer says. "And that’s why I kept coming back.”
Bauer is retiring after 50 years in the General Assembly.