He set an example
Mike Whalley, Republican leader in New Hampshire's House of Representatives, who died Saturday, was a rarity in the legislative arena.
He was a quiet, reserved and calm man, successful in business, who was able to keep personality separate from the adversarial environment where he served with 399 other volunteers in public service. His overarching interest as a political leader was to see that government in New Hampshire worked and that it evolved without sacrificing the fundamental rights of individuals to be able to act independently in the interest of themselves, their families and their neighbors.
Where ideologues worked the press, Mike Whalley worked unassumingly and without fanfare to move New Hampshire forward. He sought neither notice nor acclaim for his many accomplishments. Adversaries grudgingly accepted that he could not be driven off the high road and dragged into hot, unharmonious debate. He believed that others could always be persuaded to see reason and to take the sensible course. He provided House Republicans considerate leadership worth emulating, and he provided his adversaries an example of how to conduct respectful discourse.
His family and friends will feel deep pain and sorrow. His constituents, his party and the people of New Hampshire will greatly suffer his loss.
PAUL MIRSKIEnfield Center