FUMO ANNOUNCES HIS RETIREMENT
PHILADELPHIA, March 12, 2008 Ė
State Senator Vince Fumo (D-Philadelphia) today announced that he is retiring
from public office, effective at the end of his current four-year term on
November 30, 2008. He will petition Commonwealth Court to have his name removed
as a candidate from the ballot for the April 22 primary.
Fumo, 64, has represented the First State Senatorial
District since winning a special election in 1978. He was subsequently elected
to seven full terms, most recently in 2004. He served as chairman of the
Democratic Appropriations Committee from 1984-2007.
He made the following remarks at a press conference
today at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.
* * *
Remarks of Senator Vince Fumo, Announcing Retirement
My father -
Vince Fumo, Sr - suffered from Leukemia and passed away in 1992, shortly after
my mother had died of complications from a broken hip - God bless them both. I
always miss them, but on days like this I miss them the most.
Even as I became an adult I viewed my father as a giant
of a man. He came from modest means and built a great life for our family in
south Philadelphia. My parents stressed education, and I became a teacher, they
stressed service and I became a Senator, they taught me to respect others, to be
loyal to friends, and to keep my word. As an only child, I have always tried my
best to honor them.
Above all my parents urged me to be guided by my
heartfelt beliefs and to fight for what I believed in.
Over the past thirty years, as Iíve served the people
in my city and my district I am proud to say that I have never once taken a day
off from my parents' approach to life.
Iíve led so many fights - big and small - over the
course of my career. Fights that led to fundamental changes for all our
citizens; fights that made our laws a little more humane; fights that may have
created a new job for a mother down on her luck; fights that made schools
better; fights that kept mass transit running for people who depend on it; and
fights that provided healthcare to children and prescription drugs to seniors
who were going without; fights to preserve and improve neighborhoods and their
quality of life. And even fights to preserve the arts, culture and the history
On many occasions someone will come up to me and tell
me that I made a difference in their life on a particular matter or that I
helped a friend or a family member in some way - sometimes I no longer even
recall the matter. But whenever that happens I feel a great sense of gratitude
to the people of my district who have given me the enormous honor and
opportunity to help people - by electing me eight times to serve them in the
Today, I am announcing my retirement. I will not seek
another term. At the Governors insistence, I will serve out my current term and
help him to the best of my ability on the important issues we both care about --
making life better, more affordable, and safer for the families of our state.
There are a number of reasons why I have chosen to
retire, but above all - I simply donít think it is right for me to ask the
voters who have put their faith in me all these years to consider voting for me
one more time while there is a cloud hanging over my head. While I am confident
voters would have treated me fairly and considered my record above accusations -
I simply believe it is time for our district to turn the page and look to new,
Itís hard for me to take this step because I know that
I have much more to offer and the urge to continue the fight to help people is
still strong. I realize however, that the situation I find myself in makes it
difficult for my voice to be heard above the constant chatter about my upcoming
trial. I am sorry that is the case.
Last week as many of you know, I suffered a heart
attack. I did not make the decision to retire because of health issues. But I
did take time while recovering in the hospital last week to reassess my life and
set a few new priorities.
To be frank, the stress of being under indictment has
taken a very real emotional toll, -- a toll that does not afford me the ability
to run the kind of campaign I would like to run and would have run in the past.
Its time now for me to be with true friends and most
importantly my family. I love my children and I want them to know while they may
not have always come first because of my public service, for the rest of my life
they will always come first.
I want to thank Ed Rendell for standing with me today,
for being my friend and sticking with me even though, from time to time, Iíve
tested his friendship. I want to thank my current staff members, who are the
very best at what they do - improving the quality of life for our constituents.
I want to thank the people who have served on my staff over the past three
decades who have helped make our office a positive force for our city and state.
I have been calling colleagues and friends all morning
to express my gratitude for their partnership and support over the years. One
thing you learn quickly as a legislator is that you canít get things done on
your own - it takes teamwork and mutual commitment; you must be honest and keep
your word, even if doing so hurts you. I have been fortunate to have stood
shoulder to shoulder with some of the most dedicated public servants here and
across the state.
I see so many faces out there in the media who have
reported on my legislative successes over the years -- and on occasion - every
now and then -- on matters not relating to my legislative successes. We donít
always see eye to eye but I do respect the important role you play.
Finally, I want to thank the people of the First State
Senate District for making oursí the best district in all of Pennsylvania. From
the children that I meet in our schools to the working men and women who work
hard every day to keep their families afloat, to our senior citizens with whom I
enjoy such a close relationship. Many of them often tell me great and loving old
stories about my parents.
I will continue to represent you with all the energy
God allows me to muster to the very end of my term in office. And to paraphrase
one of my heroes, President John F. Kennedy: it is time to pass the torch to a
new generation. I hope the person who suceeds me has knowledge, courage and
honor, and will continue to represent the people in my district in the same 24/7
manner that I have tried to do.
God Bless, and thank you for listening today.
# # #
Senator Fumo Announces his
intention to retire at the end of the 2008 legislative year, as behind him,
(l-r) girlfriend Carolyn Zinni, son Vincent E. Fumo, and Gov. Ed Rendell listen.
Fumo says he will end his
30-year Senate career during a press conference at the Pennsylvania Convention
Center in Philadelphia. Gov. Ed Rendell, standing behind Fumo, then took the
podium and praised Fumo for his tremendous accomplishments for Philadelphia and
the people of Pennsylvania.