Scalise: A Blue Collar Workhorse

When cable news networks carried the news on Thursday, June 15 that House Majority Whip Steve Scalise had been shot by an assassin targeting Republican Congressmen, many in Louisiana were heartsick. They know Scalise as a friend and colleague who is well-liked in both parties.
Two journalists associated with this newspaper, columnist Jeff Crouere and editor Woody Jenkins, wrote about the man they know.
Jeff Crouere said, “I had the pleasure of meeting Steve Scalise at numerous political forums in the fall of 1995. Both of us were candidates for the Louisiana Legislature. He was running to represent Jefferson Parish and I was running to represent Orleans Parish. Unfortunately, I lost my election to a seasoned politician named Mitch Landrieu; however, fortunately for the state of Louisiana, Steve Scalise won his election as a state legislator. It was the start of an amazing political career that is nowhere near over.”
“From that early start, it was obvious Steve Scalise was destined for higher office. He has tremendous energy and boundless enthusiasm for politics. He is one of the best campaigners in the history of Louisiana politics. He has a great and genuine ability to connect with voters.
“After 12 years in the legislature, Scalise was elected to Congress in 2008 to represent Louisiana’s 1st District. It did not take him long to make an incredible impact. Within a few years, he was selected chairman of the Republican Study Committee, the conservative House caucus. Then, in 2014, just six years after being elected to Congress, Scalise was elected to the third highest ranking position, House Majority Whip.
“There is no doubt that this happy warrior will soon be back in the halls of Congress. Throughout his career, Scalise has maintained good friendships across the political spectrum. In this age of divisive partisanship, it is gratifying to know those relationships still exist. Our prayers are with Steve and all the innocent individuals injured as we wish all of them a very speedy recovery”
Woody Jenkins said, “I feel awful about what happened to Steve Scalise, perhaps because I know what a fine person he is. We served together in the Louisiana House from 1996-2000, when I was serving my last of seven terms and he was serving his first. We hit it off right away, in part because of our shared conservative values.  He was for the right to life, the family, traditional values, controlling the size and cost of government, and protecting the free enterprise system. I had great admiration for him.”
“Not many legislators read the bills and do their homework, but Steve does. He brings a strong work ethic to the Capitol. He is a blue collar workhorse. He isn’t an attorney but he studies the bills and picks them apart. He loves his country, his state, and his family, and he is passionate about  making a real difference.  Steve especially hates corruption and dishonesty.  He is willing to take a stand, alone if necessary for what is right.  I always found him to be down-to-earth and humble — not flashy or trying to get undue attention.  He’s a happy, friendly person who tries to get along with everyone.  He always has a good word and is open to everyone.  He is sincere, hardworking and genuine.  If he tells you something, you can count on it.”
“Ironically, it never occurred to me that he would run for Congress, much less become a leader in Congress. That’s because he was not a political climber. Over time, he has proven to be exactly the kind of person we need in Washington, because he’s there for one reason and one reason only — to do right and serve the people of our country!
Please keep praying for Steve and his family!”

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