Senator Gordner Lauds Representatives Phillips and Fairchild

(HARRISBURG) – – State Senator John R. Gordner (R-27) today praised Representatives Merle Phillips and Russ Fairchild as mentors and men of integrity upon the Representatives’ announcement of their retirements following the 2010 session of the General Assembly.

“The Central Susquehanna Valley is a better place because of Merle and Russ.  They are truly outstanding public servants,” said Sen. Gordner.

Senator Gordner served in the House of Representatives with Reps. Phillips and Fairchild from 1993 to 2003.  “As a new House member, I looked to people like Merle and Russ for advice and guidance.  As a Senator, I always enjoyed working with them on legislation and projects in our districts,” said Sen. Gordner.

As an example, the Senator noted last month’s meeting in Washington, D.C. where the three legislators were among a delegation of officials fighting the proposal to toll Interstate 80 and the lawmakers’ continued support for road improvements.  “Whether it was fighting the tolling proposal or advocating for needed projects like the Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway, Merle and Russ always worked together for our area.  They truly considered their adjoining districts as without boundaries,” said the Senator.

Senator Gordner said the region will miss the seniority and respect the two lawmakers earned over the years.  “These two gentlemen together have over 50 years of experience and seniority in Harrisburg,” he said.  “They have served as Committee Chairman and have passed important legislation.”

“They have worked tirelessly on projects that benefited our area, and had the clout to obtain funding for those projects,” said Senator Gordner, noting the recent groundbreaking for the Sunbury Riverfront project as an example.

“We will still have Merle and Russ advocating for our area this year. While I will miss working with them in Harrisburg and here at home after that, I wish Merle and Russ nothing but the best and I sincerely thank them for their outstanding service,” Senator Gordner concluded.