Friends, colleagues remember Sen. Sarbanes

“I grew up with Tony Sarbanes as my Vice Principal and one of my early role models, so I was prepared to like Paul Sarbanes from the start. I remember him so well, serving on the House Judiciary Committee that handled the Nixon impeachment. He was so impressive with his knowledge of the facts, his ability to present a clear and convincing case and the fact that he was on the right side made it even better.

“I helped campaign for him in his first Senate campaign and all of his subsequent ones. I would hear through Tony that he often asked about me and showed interest in my own career, which flattered me greatly.

“He was the epitome of a lifetime devoted to public service backed up by a deep sense of honor and integrity and love for community, qualities that are sorely needed in public life today.”

–Former Wicomico County Executive Rick Pollitt

“Paul Sarbanes set new, needed standards for transparency and good governance. Maryland mourns the loss of an incredible public servant and champion of the Chesapeake Bay.”

— U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin

“He was not a press conference kind of guy. It was unique. He was one of the most unpretentious colleagues I ever knew. Paul and I called ourselves the ‘Diner Democrats.’ We would razz (Jay) Rockefeller and (Ted) Kennedy. We called them the ‘Dynasty Democrats.’”

— Retired U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski

“Paul Sarbanes was a great American. A workhorse instead of a show horse, and a man of principle instead of party. His old-fashioned qualities of dignity, humility and a willingness to listen stand in stark contrast to what we see from most of today’s so-called leaders.”

— Salisbury attorney Victor Laws III

“The Senator was in Salisbury to witness his brother’s (Tony) swearing in as President of the County Council in 2002. That day, I retired from council and began the ‘One On One’ interview show on PAC 14. Sen. Sarbanes was my first guest. His service was a great credit to Maryland and to his native Salisbury.”

–Former Wicomico Councilman Phil Tilghman

“I was blessed to meet Paul Sarbanes when I was very young and living in Baltimore. Little did I know how he would be such an inspiration and mentor to me throughout my life. Sen. Sarbanes’ character, integrity, commitment to family and community was profound. Always remembering my children, Lauren, Trevor, and late wife Kathy’s names, inquiring about their well being, encouraging me to enter public service and always being there for our citizens and their needs inspired me to carry on. Senator Sarbanes was a leader and central force in the success of the Ocean City Beach Replenishment Program; bringing federal, state, county, and local government together for a 50-year agreement — yes, 50 years to rebuild the eroding beaches of Ocean City, protect lives, properties, and keep us safe and confident when hurricanes, nor’easters and foul weather threatens.”

— Former state Sen. Jim Mathias

Sen. Sarbanes was a steady and consistent supporter of his constituents. He was a sincere and honest man that supported all of us on the Eastern Shore.

— Salisbury City Council President Jack Heath

“Sen. Paul Sarbanes reminds us of what is right and good about our democracy. He was a man of principle, intellect, integrity and commitment. Beyond the body of legislation he worked on, and supported in the interest of the nation, is his commitment to the state of Maryland, the Eastern Shore and the Chesapeake Bay. 

“He reminds us of the importance of what can happen when good men do something! He was a joy to be with and never wavered from his true north, that to be an American was a privilege that brought with it great responsibility.”

— Former Salisbury Mayor Barrie Tilghman

“Paul Sarbanes belongs on the Mount Rushmore of Maryland politicians. While he lived much of his life in Baltimore, he never forgot his roots on the Eastern Shore. A tremendous benefactor of local higher education — hence the Paul Sarbanes Coastal Ecology Center at UMES and the Paul Sarbanes Lecture Series at SU — he orchestrated numerous environmental and economic contributions to our region. But what lingers is the genuine kindness and decency he demonstrated. His everyday values are ones we should all emulate and expect of our community leaders.”

— Wicomico Democratic Club member Gains Hawkins

“Paul Sarbanes was a tireless advocate on behalf of all Marylanders. His leadership in preserving the Chesapeake Bay, expanding access to affordable housing, and protecting Main Street investors in the bill that bears his name, Sarbanes-Oxley, are enduring testaments to his legacy of positive change. Paul was known for always doing his homework and for his sharp questioning – woe to the witness who appeared before his committees unprepared.”

— U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen

“Paul Sarbanes had a long history with Salisbury University, dating back to his teen years. Accepting an honorary Doctor of Laws during SU’s 2006 Fall Commencement ceremony, shortly before his retirement after 30 years as a U.S. Senator, he reminisced about playing basketball in the university’s gymnasium while growing up in the local community. During his time in office, the Senator was a friend to SU, helping to secure funding to expand educational opportunities in the School of Nursing and to establish the Franklin P. Perdue School of Business’ international business curriculum.

“In 2002, he initiated the Paul S. Sarbanes Lecture Series through SU’s Institute of Public Affairs and Civic Engagement, bringing some of the nation’s most prominent legislators to campus.”

— Salisbury University President Dr. Charles Wight

“Sen. Sarbanes leaves a legacy that extends into our community and carries on through the extraordinary contributions of his brother, Tony, and Tony’s family, who have done so much to make our community a better place.

“As a teenager, I recall then-Congressman Sarbanes doing the right thing for democracy, during the Watergate hearings. As a member of the House Judiciary Committee, he drafted the first article of impeachment against President Nixon. It was exciting to know that Rep. Sarbanes was the brother of the then Principal at Wi-Hi. Seemed surreal that ‘our’ Mr. Sarbanes’s brother was doing these amazing things in Washington, staring down a political scandal.”

— Greater Salisbury Committee CEO/President Mike Dunn

“Sen. Paul Sarbanes’ passing marks the end of an era for many on Delmarva who remember his commitment to serving the people of the state of Maryland, first in the state legislature and then in Congress, which he did with distinction.  Sen. Sarbanes delivered the commencement address at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore’s 1993 spring graduation, where he was presented a presidential medallion. A decade later, UMES named its coastal ecology research center near Assateague Island after Sen. Sarbanes in recognition of his environmental stewardship. His legacy lives on at UMES in the form of an endowment fund named in his honor for students who want to study environmental science.”

— University of Maryland Eastern Shore statement

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