When Claude made his decision not to seek reelection as the 26th District state representative I made my intention known to seek the office following him. Immediately opponents from both parties began to qualify for that opportunity. With Bill Bennett as my campaign manager and many of Claude’s supporters going door to door into the community, as Claude had done in his initial effort to meet constituents and seek the community’s support, with a grass roots and minimally funded effort, we were successful.
My first remembrance of meeting Claude was on the side of the road in Harrison. I told him of my intention and he told me more of the duties of that office and questioned my motive for running. He asked, are you a climber seeking a stepping stone to begin a political career or are you seeking an opportunity to serve the people you are to represent? I feel he believed my answer and that my 28 years in that office confirmed it.
But his response to my question of, “since this is April and the primary is not until August, when do you suggest I begin campaigning?” His response was, “If I were you I would begin on my way home today.” That was Claude Ramsey’s philosophy. He never stopped working for his community in any role or office he filled. He was always on his way home, and this week he finished that journey.
I never attempted to replace Claude Ramsey, I simply attempted to reflect his example of service and dedication to the community.
Former state representative of the 26th Legislative District