With the passing of former state Sen. Bob Stroble (Timonium) this past Thanksgiving, it is fitting to reflect on his legacy, as both political parties cope with seemingly endemic divisiveness and gamesmanship.
Privileged to having served with Bob Stroble along with the late Dels. Bert Booth and Tom Chamberlain when I first came to Annapolis in 1975, I have never forgotten the sense of purpose, sincerity of principle and commitment to reason that animated my earliest seatmates.
Elected to represent a district nearly three-quarters of which was composed of Democrats, we were four Republicans engaged in housing and labor issues, along with human rights and anything else constituents shared at our regular Saturday open forum meetings throughout the district.
We championed fiscal conservatism before the phrase was reduced to a glib sound bite. Colleagues with genuinely held differences on social issues were not apostates. We respected diverging opinions, rather than questioning the integrity of those with whom we disagreed.
Bob served in a Senate with fewer than 10 Republicans, but when he advocated prudence his colleagues in the majority recognized his earnest conviction –– not a tactic to embarrass members of the opposition. In an age of ever-sophisticated messaging and obfuscated strategizing, I cannot help but wonder whether we would remain mired in so many intractable stalemates if there were more lawmakers like Bob, Bert and Tom.
I am deeply grateful for having first served alongside them and humbled to carry on their zeal for unpretentious service.
Wade Kach, Cockeysville
The letter writer is a state delegate who serves District 5B in Baltimore County.