Former legislator Casperson recalled with affection

The Upper Peninsula has lost a former legislator described by another lawmaker as a “true leader.”

People are expressing their sorrow over the Sunday passing of former state legislator Tom Casperson.

The Republican lawmaker from Escanaba served the 108th District for six years in the Michigan House of Representatives. He then served two terms representing the 38th District in the Michigan Senate, beginning in 2010.

Unfortunately, Casperson was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in 2018.

He left behind many people who admired what he had accomplished in state politics, even those in the opposing party.

For example, state Rep. Sara Cambensy, D-Marquette, called Casperson “a true leader” in a Facebook post. Cambensy said she had passed a resolution in support of reopening the Empire Mine, noting she passed that resolution with Casperson — she with the House version and he with the Senate version.

Both passed unanimously in each chamber.

“He had a heck of a run, and he deserved a few decades more to live out the next chapter of his life after politics — even though that’s where he loved to be. So many of us wish we could somehow change that,” Cambensy said in her post.

State Sen. Ed McBroom, R-Waucedah Township, lauded Casperson as well.

“Tom meant so much to me,” McBroom wrote. “He was a brother, a friend, a mentor, a confidant and a partner in mischief and good work. He was my political father, bringing me into that world that I wanted to see so badly and helping me grow up in that role.”

Just to show that politicians aren’t always “politicians,” McBroom said he has many memories of Casperson “in the car to every corner of Michigan.”

“Him singing Elvis, whistling a tune, talking over the program I was trying to hear, yelling at the Packers and the refs,” were just a few of these memories, he said.

Not everyone agreed with all of Casperson’s political opinions, but he had what he believed were Michigan’s best interests at heart.

“We talked about the need to keep mining, doing forestry and moving propane,” McBroom said in his post. “He spoke of his love for his family and friends and we prayed together, thanking God for eternal life. I know I will see him again. The best is yet to come.”


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