Thank you, Mr. Casperson, for serving the UP

There was a surprise gathering at Northern Michigan University’s University Center on Nov. 24 to honor and thank Sen. Tom Casperson. He served in the Michigan House of Representatives for six years, from 2002 to 2008. In 2010, he was elected to the Michigan Senate and was re-elected for a second term in 2014. Due to term limits, he was unable to seek office again.

Casperson worked for 27 years in his family’s log trucking business, including 12 years as its owner and operator. He was exactly the type of person we needed representing us politically because of his background in one of the Upper Peninsula’s major industries.

He did a great job working with fellow legislators in a non-partisan way. We always found him to be doing the right thing for the U.P. even if it meant going against his own party. We saw more cooperation between Casperson, John Kivela, Scott Dianda and Ed McBroom than any other group in recent history. We have said in previous editorials that the rest of the state and country, for that matter, could learn from the cooperative relationship our local legislators had in doing what was right for the U.P. without partisan politics. Casperson was a major factor that helped our local delegation work together so well.

The large gathering of people on Nov. 24 were all eager to show their appreciation for Casperson and his time serving his constituents. He was a hard-working politician but did most of his work without seeking out personal gain for his time serving the U.P. Casperson quietly went about his job with the needs of the Upper Peninsula as his No. 1 priority. Some politicians seem to revel in the celebrity that comes with the job. But Tom was not like that at all. He just wanted what was best for us Yoopers. We compliment him on his approach to politics and we would like our voice of praise added to the group that honored him at his surprise celebration.

As Casperson leaves office at the end of the year, he will put his time and effort into his current battle with lung cancer. As of right now, he seems to be winning that fight. Much of the pain associated with his sickness has diminished significantly, something we can be grateful for. He will also have much more time to dedicate to family, which is extremely important to him. For the better part of the past two decades, he has done a great job taking care of his constituents. But it is now time for Tom to concentrate on Tom.

We want to say thank you to Casperson for his representation of the Upper Peninsula since 2002. You did a great job for our area and we are grateful for your hard work and dedication to all of us in the U.P.

We ask our readers to say a prayer for Tom while he continues with his cancer treatment. We are optimistic that he will continue to fight the cancer with the same tenacity that he served his constituents with while representing the U.P. We hope Tom receives a positive outcome and beats the cancer into remission. We also hope he and his family have many happy years to spend together, which he deserves because of all the hard work he put into serving his community.