John Sullivan served First District well
BY World's Editorials Writers
Saturday, September 22, 2012
9/22/12 at 4:33 AM
Outgoing First District U.S. Rep. John Sullivan delivered a farewell speech recently at a Tulsa Metro Chamber forum. It ought to have made the people in his district realize that they might really miss him.
Sullivan often was on the opposite side of the Tulsa World Editorial Board when it came to politics. Our disagreements, however, were never personal. He often graced our editorial board meetings and the discussions were always lively and informative.
We endorsed him in all of his campaigns, save the first. We did so because of his character and his willingness to listen and get things done for the people of his district. Those characteristics were evident in his speech to the Chamber forum.
Did Sullivan often bring home the bacon in the form of federal funding for local projects? You bet. Is he sorry for that? Certainly not.
"When it came to serving the needs of our community, I'm proud to stand here and say I delivered, whether it was politically popular or not," he said.
He was key to getting the funding that has brought the much-needed widening of Interstate 44 through Tulsa. "Yes, that funding came from an earmark," Sullivan said. "I took some heat for that. But it's a reasonable example of how federal funding can and should be used to promote public safety and ensure our infrastructure is up to date, and I will never apologize for that."
Like many in his district, and in the country, Sullivan laments the loss of civility and communication between the parties in Washington, D.C. He said it is difficult to forge relationships in Washington "because no one spends much time there. When you don't know someone, it's easy to dislike them. It's easy to call them names."
Ironically, Sullivan was beaten in his primary by hard right-wing voters who believe he isn't conservative enough, despite his annual high raking by conservative groups.
Sullivan has served his district, his home town, for almost 11 years. He says he has yet to decide what he will do after his service in Congress. He says he hopes to stay in the Tulsa area. We hope so, too. But, we also hope that he will wind up wherever he can continue to aid and serve the First District.
We hope that whoever fills his seat will continue his hard work and dedication to the district.
There were times when we never thought we'd say it, but we, and the First District, are going to miss John Sullivan.
Original Print Headline: Sullivan's farewell
Outgoing First District U.S. Rep. John Sullivan speaks at the Tulsa Metro Chamber Congressional Forum. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World