Casperson faces fight outside the political arena

Although rumors have been whispered across the region for several weeks, State Sen. Tom Casperson confirmed last week that he has, in fact, been diagnosed with cancer.

The well-known Republican lawmaker from Escanaba said it’s lung cancer and it’s in the fourth stage. Additionally, doctors have confirmed the cancer has spread into his spine.

Casperson is serving his second four-year term in the Michigan Senate after three terms in the Michigan House of Representatives.

Known on many issues as a moderate and a tireless advocate for his district and, indeed, the entire Upper Peninsula, Casperson was to close out his legislative service at the end of the year because of Michigan’s term limits law.

A Mining Journal story stated that since he took office as a state senator, Casperson has introduced a wide variety of bills, 25 of which got signed into law during his first term in the Senate, including the transformative Land Cap, which provides restrictions on land that the Michigan Department of Natural Resources can purchase; a law to ensure the state fulfills its obligation to pay local units of government payments in lieu of taxes on the basis of the state’s land ownership; a law that removes restrictions to permit property owners with frontage on the Great Lakes to groom their beaches; a law to grant the Michigan Natural Resource Commission the authority to establish a wolf hunt season; and legislation to establish a Regional Transit Authority.

He said last week he plans to finish his term. Medical treatment in the form of amino therapy is expected to begin in the near future.

Needless to say, we wish the senator all the best in his coming battle with the disease and are confident the hopes and prayers of the region and state are with him.