March 8, 2022
You know, I walked onto this floor as a– in 1963. I was eight years old, and this was what I wanted to do. I wanted to be a senator like my father. And I’ve had the great honor and pleasure to know so many Arkansans in this body that have made such a difference in the lives of our, our, our people.
You know, I think back of Bob Harvey. Bob Harvey was in the House first and then was in the Senate. And he was single, never married, a very dapper man, owned farmlands up at Newport, Arkansas. But when Bob Harvey was in the House in 1945, he was one of the original sponsors of the Revenue Stabilization Act. And to look back and know and meet somebody like Bob Harvey and think about how brilliant those folks were with the Revenue Stabilization Act. As we’ve all said many times, if our country had a Revenue Stabilization Act in Washington, we’d be far better off than what we have.
But Max House sat there. Where Joyce Elliott was, the first woman ever elected to the Arkansas Senate, Dorothy Allen from Brinkley. Her husband had served for 20 years, and she, she was elected after he passed away. I mean, there’s so many great memories of this place. And obviously being here, I sit in the same seat my dad did, my brother did. And serving is a great– we share these great experiences together.
And I think the thing that I want to say before I leave is I’ve seen the arc of this thing change so much in how we approach legislation in this body. And it has become partisan. And it has– Washington has creeped in here, obviously. But I want to say, don’t forget the journey. Don’t forget this great journey that we’ve all gone on together, that the ones that will remain will continue on.
I think in these times it is so difficult to keep that journey and the people that you cross and meet during your time of service. I think that’s the important takeaway at the end of the day. You know, last night I mentioned, you know, I probably– most of this group in here, I would have not had the honor of knowing or meeting if it wasn’t for serving in the Senate.
When we’re out on the campaign, we meet remarkable people doing remarkable things in communities because they love their community, not because they are Democrat or Republican, because they want to make their community better. So the one thing that I would say and leave you with is, don’t forget the journey. Don’t get caught up in winning at all cost. Realize that there is a greater good out here. There is– there are people, and people are going to make mistakes, people are going to do great things. But enjoy that and embrace that. And I think if we can do that, then our state is the better for it. So thank you very much.