Tag Archives: Lacey Putney

Saxman Remembers Colleague Lacey Putney, Virginia Gentleman of the House

The loss on Saturday of former Virginia Delegate Lacey Putney brought back memories of this column that I wrote about him when he retired in 2013, a tribute from my former Delegate Chris Saxman who shared his respect for the man:

Delegate Lacey Putney has served in the Virginia House of Delegates longer than former Delegate  Chris Saxman has been alive. Yet the respect for the elder statesman is there in Chris’ column as all take in the unexpected yet not surprising news of Putney’s retirement from the House.

In “Lacey Putney — Virginia Gentleman,” the young gentleman shared some good memories about his time serving for almost a decade with the older gentleman from Bedford. Chris wrote:

Lacey is a model of the unbranded, gentlemanly conservatism that makes Virginia so exceptional. The essence of that conservatism, true conservatism, is grounded in two key elements – pragmatism and self-restraint. What works, works. What doesn’t, shouldn’t.

Lacey Putney was and is a model of Virginia gentlemanly conservatism because Lacey was and is, first and foremost, a gentleman.

As with anyone who has served for 52 years, time catches up and the reluctant decision is made to retire and spend those golden years with family and friends. Putney’s morals from an earlier generation were evident after his wife passed away and he remarried about seven years later, as recounted by Chris:

“I feel like a teenager!” Lacey exclaimed with a gleam in his eye and a smile as broad as the James River. Then he softly explained, “Of course, when Carmela came to visit me in Bedfuhd, she had to stay across the street. We didn’t want people getting the wrong idea.”

Chris added, “Of course not.”

Read Chris’ entire respectful tribute to a man who spent most of his life in the public service of Virginia’s citizens.

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Remembering Former Virginia Delegate Lacey Putney, Body to Lie in State in State Capitol Rotunda

Wednesday, April 3, 2013. Delegate Lacey Putney said goodbye to the Virginia House of Delegates as he prepared to retire after 52 years. (Photo by Delegate Christopher Peace)

Lacey Putney was the Virginia Gentleman everyone respected. When he retired in 2013, the accolades and remembrances of his years in the Virginia House poured in from all corners of the Commonwealth.

On Saturday Virginia lost the legislative icon who passed away at the age of 89. Friend and colleague, Virginia House Speaker William Howell, wrote a moving tribute:

With a heavy heart I am sad to share that Virginia has lost an icon. The Honorable Lacey E. Putney passed away Saturday at the age of 89. The Virginia House of Delegates mourns the loss of an esteemed leader who was here long before any of us arrived, and whose legacy will live on long after all of us are gone.

“Throughout his 52 years in the House, Lacey came to embody what this institution stands for: productive public service, individual integrity, sound stewardship and so much more.  He was dedicated to the legislature as a vital and necessary institution within state government, possessed an independent voice and always acquitted himself as a wise and effective legislator.  He showed compassion for all with a caring and soft heart, was a man of action and responded to all his constituents with unconditional resolve exemplifying all that a true “citizen legislator” can and should be.

“During his historic tenure, he tirelessly served the constituents of the 19th House District, which encompassed many communities within central Virginia including the counties of Alleghany, Bedford, Botetourt, Franklin, and Rockbridge; and the cities of Bedford, Buena Vista, Covington, and Lexington.  It was often said that ‘he was the gentleman from Bedford but was a gentleman of Virginia,’ serving his district and the House of Delegates with distinction.  His capable leadership was consistently felt across our Commonwealth by so many for so long and with so much gratitude.

“Lacey served with 13 Governors, served as acting Speaker of the House of Delegates in 2003, and chaired the House Appropriations Committee and before that House Privileges and Election Committee.  Lacey left the House having held the honor of the longest serving member in the history and was one of the longest serving members in all of our nation’s 99 legislative bodies.

“The House has lost a mighty oak tree, but we will benefit from the roots that Lacey established deeply within our co-equal branch of government.  The Commonwealth will bear the fruit of his productive years of legislative service for many years to come.  We are all grateful for the tremendous accomplishments he has left throughout the Old Dominion, from championing the creation of the Virginia Retirement System for state and local employees and initiating the Tuition Assistance Grant program for the benefit of students to safeguarding Virginia’s finances and establishing the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee.

“Lacey was a dear friend to me and many others.  I will always remember his good-natured humor and unique ability to recall a story for any moment.  During this sad time, Cessie and I pray for his very special wife Carmella, who Lacey deeply cherished, and Lacey’s children, Susan and Lacey Edward, Jr.

“Delegate Putney will lie in state in the Rotunda of the State Capitol, where flags will fly at half-mast in his memory.  He will be the first House member to lie in state since Speaker A.L. Philpott in 1991.  This respectful honor is a fitting tribute to the life and legacy of truly historic Virginian.”

It is the end of an era in Virginia history.

 

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Election Day 2014 … Ed Gillespie for U.S. Senate

American flag 4By Lynn R. Mitchell

Election Day 2014. It’s all over except the voting.

We live in a free country where men and women have fought to protect our freedom to vote. As contributor Daniel Cortez wrote yesterday,  An Independent Political Perspective: Vote your conscience … but vote.

All of us at LynnRMitchell.com endorsed Ed Gillespie for U.S. Senate (see LynnRMitchell.com endorses Ed Gillespie for U.S. Senate), and guest poster Lee Talley shared his reasons for voting for Mr. Gillespie (see Lee Talley: ‘I am a dad and I’m voting for Ed Gillespie’).

Former Delegate Lacey Putney, long-time legislator in Richmond and an Independent, gave a rare endorsement by backing Gillespie (see Lacey Putney endorses Ed Gillespie, not impressed when Warner was governor).

Many newspapers endorsed Gillespie including the Richmond Times-Dispatch (see Ed Gillespie endorsed by Richmond Times-Dispatch).

In the Republican red Shenandoah Valley, LynnRMitchell.com managing editor Kurt Michael reminded that upping the voter margin is a major responsibility of the GOP to off-set Democratic-rich northern Virginia, Richmond, and the Hampton Roads areas (see Valley Republicans needed to up the vote margin).

Gillespie, who has worked for years in Republican politics including with President George W. Bush in the White House, received endorsements from his old boss (see President George W. Bush surprises Gillespie’s ‘G-Force’ phone conference) and President George H.W. Bush #41 (see George H.W. Bush #41 endorses Ed Gillespie).

Dana Perino has said for months that Ed Gillespie is the tortoise in this senate race but on Monday she was joined by fellow “The Five” panelist and Democratic strategist Bob Beckell in predicting an upset win in Virginia (see Dana Perino, Bob Beckell predict big upset win for Gillespie).

Constitutional Amendment: Vote YES. Help our military widows by providing a tax break on their real estate taxes.

Election Day 2014 … make it count.

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Lacey Putney endorses Ed Gillespie, not impressed when Warner was governor

Lacey Putney

Delegate Lacey Putney

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Delegate Lacey Putney has endorsed Republican Ed Gillespie for U.S. Senate, an impressive endorsement from the longest-serving member of the Virginia House of Delegates who retired earlier this year after 52 years.

Delegate Putney’s statement about Mark Warner during his years as governor is very telling: “The most charitable thing I can say of Mark Warner as governor is that I was not impressed. But Warner’s service as governor is ancient history. We have before us his six years in the U.S. Senate. While Warner has talked a good game, he has been mainly a rubber-stamp for President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. … By his willingness to place party above country Mark Warner does not deserve re-election.”

He continued, “… this year, in the strongest and most emphatic terms, I endorse Ed Gillespie.”

The Teflon veneer continues to fall away from Mark Warner who has voted 97 percent of the time with Democratic President Barack Obama, and who broke his promise to Virginians when he voted for Obamacare.

Here is Delegate Putney’s full endorsement:
Continue reading

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