Farewell Senator Mayne, by John Valentine

A beautiful farewell written by Utah Senate President, John Valentine

Ed Mayne on the Utah Senate Floor

We are saddened to have lost our good friend and colleague, Senator Ed Mayne. Our thoughts and prayers are with Karen and the rest of the family. Ed was a giant of a man, not only in physical stature, but in his passion for the working men and women of this nation. Ed’s humor, life, and work touched so many people on both sides of the aisle and throughout the state.

My introduction to Ed occurred as a freshman in the Utah House of Representatives. There was a “Union Guy” who often sat on the back row. It was clear that he was not a Representative, but seemed to commanded significant respect. I asked one of the more senior members of the House (Frank Knowleton) who the big guy was, sitting in the back on the Democratic side of the aisle and why did he have so much power. Frank said: “That’s Ed. You probably won’t agree with him all the time, but you will develop great respect for his ability to know an issue.”

Now, nearly twenty years later my early impression of Ed has not changed. Ed Mayne, now Senator Mayne, mastered the art of being a gentleman, while arguing forcefully for what he believed.

Ed has been an absolute blessing to the Utah State Senate. We all have Ed stories that make us laugh, or cry, or just serve to emphasize his courage and dignity. One thing worth mentioning is the unique friendship that developed between Senator Mayne and the current Senate Majority Leader. Both men are strong willed and able advocates of their often opposing positions. Yet, as the debates on the floor often intensified, I noted from the dais a fair and honest approach develop between them. This is true of his relationship with many if not all of his senate colleagues. Ed truly had mastered the art of being a gentleman senator, while not backing down on his core beliefs. That kind of respect and insightful discussion is exactly what we need to craft sensible policy. We need to hang on to that aspect of Ed Mayne’s legacy.

The friendship between Senator Orrin Hatch and Senator Ed Mayne is also noteworthy. On visits to the state senate, Senator Hatch would sometimes comment about his respect for Ed. Senator Mayne seemed to take it personally (in a good way) when Senator Hatch made references to the fact that he was once a union card holding member. I was too, for that matter, and walked picket lines in the summer of 1971. Of course Ed would never pass up a chance to scold Senator Hatch and me for leaving the true faith and becoming Republicans.

Ed Mayne leaves us a legacy of effective public service and commitment to principle.

We love you, Eddie, and we will miss you.

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Thank you John and all the Utah Senators.

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