Baker, Hanna leave legacy of excellence in style, substance

For more than 25 years, state Rep. Matt Baker has been representing much of the Northern Tier of Pennsylvania. He was re-elected 13 times by his constituents from Tioga, Potter and Bradford counties. That should tell you a lot about how well he has represented a large portion of our region. But it doesn’t tell the whole story of his representation of the 68th District.

Baker’s office was consistently ranked among the best in the state at providing constituent services, key among them helping people navigate the huge state bureaucracies or dealing with everyday, state-related problems.

And while authoring more than 30 state laws and shepherding them through the Legislature, Baker did his work with a lack of rancor and partisanship that has become so prevalent in state and national politics today.

In other words, he represented his constituents with excellence, both in terms of what he got done and how he did it.

Similarly, Rep. Michael Hanna Sr., elected in 1991 to represent Clinton County and now retiring, authored laws related to retirement security, food safety, recycling, the minimum wage and deer management. While we have not always shared his views we have admired his convictions and the way he executed them.

Together, these two lawmakers have represented our region for more than a half century and leave big shoes to fill. A good start for their successors would be emulating their style and substance.