Thursday, May 31, 2012

RIP Charlie Lemmond 1929-2012

CV:  Former state Sen. Charles D. Lemmond Jr. has died.
The 82-year-old Republican from the Back Mountain area represented the 20th Senatorial District from 1985 through 2006. Lemmond was a former Luzerne County judge and first assistant district attorney.

The last time I had the pleasure of speaking with Senator Lemmond was at an event for Walter Griffith in 2009.  It would be accurate to say he stole the show. He wasn't planning to speak but the crowd demanded it.You could feel the respect and affection that people had for him.

Here are some of his legislative highlights:

1985 Won a special election to fill the vacancy left by outgoing Sen. FrankO'Connell Jr.

1986 Won his first general election against Democrat Joseph Bilbow

1989 Only Luzerne County lawmaker to vote against a law that imposed new restrictions on abortions in Pennsylvania

1991 Led Pennsylvania's redistricting effort after the 1990 census

1992 Helped write Pennsylvania's living-will law, called the Advance Directive for Health Care Act of 1992.

1995 Sponsored law to allow judges to consider an adult defendant's juvenile record in determining bail.

2001 Again helped redraw Pennsylvania's congressional districts after the 2000 census.

2004 Voted against Act 71, which expanded gambling in Pennsylvania by legalizing slot machines at 14 locations around the state.

I guess the best description of him is that he is a Rockefeller Republican. An endangered species these days.

He was instrumental in helping Lisa Baker succeed him.  Her statement:

"Charlie Lemmond was a positive force in my life in so many ways – friend, mentor, advisor, role model. As a former judge, prosecutor and legislator, he had incredible respect for the power and purpose of law, properly crafted and wisely applied.
"His 21 years as a well-respected state Senator were marked by his standard of integrity, his pursuit of justice, and his desire to do what was right for the people and the communities he served. He wanted to never disappoint those who trusted him and had confidence in his ability. He was willing to bridge party lines and political philosophies. Through his constant and active involvement in a wide range of community groups, Charlie touched many lives, gave a sense of direction and responsibility to numerous improvement projects and served as an inspiration to countless individuals,"

Congressman Lou Barletta:

“A native son of Hazleton, Charlie Lemmond was the consummate public servant. For more than 20 years, he served the people of the 20th Senatorial District of Pennsylvania with integrity and honor. Before that, he was a judge and a prosecutor, and he had a deep understanding of the law and its impacts. Charlie always offered wise counsel based on his long years of experience. He was quick to offer a kind word or friendly advice. He will be missed,” Rep. Barletta said. “My family and I would like to extend our condolences to his wife, Barbara; his children, Chuck, Judy, John, and David; and their families.”

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