“At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.” — Maya Angelou.
Senator Anthony Bucco always made me feel welcome and significant. No matter how crowded the room, filled with bigger titles, bigger shoulders, and certainly bigger talkers, he would always greet me by name and ask me how I was; thanking me for the job I was doing.
I had the honor and blessing to interact with Senator Bucco in various ways – political candidate, public servant, and constituent. It was clear that constituent, always came first. Like the time I called for help with an administrative headache that had lingered on just too long. I was reluctant to call; asking for help is hard sometimes. Senator Bucco could not have made it more comfortable. No judgmental questions, no feet-dragging. Just give me the specifics. Sure enough, I received a call 24 hours later from the state agency with the problem resolved and burden lifted. Again, I mattered; my family mattered.
Senator Bucco’s passing is a tremendous loss for the people of Morris and Somerset counties. My deepest condolences go to his loved ones: wife Helen, son Assemblyman Anthony M. Bucco and his wife Amy, their children and grandchildren and so many others who have been touched by Senator Bucco’s tireless advocacy. For many of us, Senator Bucco may have been our Representative in Trenton our entire lives. He was someone we relied on as always being there for us; protecting conservative values and bringing voice to the issues that matter most to the hard-working people of the 25th Legislative District. Some fellow residents have expressed: “He is the last of his kind. He put people over party.”
Recently, I attended a book signing for “I Love Capitalism,” written by Ken Langone, the Co-Founder of Home Depot. Langone shared that the problem with politics today is that the wrong people enter it. The audience of more than 200 nodded in unison. Some even vocalized their agreeance: “That’s right…mhm.” Indeed the collective conscience today carries a distrust of office holders. Sadness, anger, fear, are natural components of loss.
But, let us not forget the very essence of public service. Hope! Hope for a better future. Hope that change can happen. Hope that despite all odds, you can make a difference. Senator Bucco gave us hope and we owe it to his lifelong service to ensure that his legacy continues.
Just this summer, the Senator (one of only 14 Republicans) not only championed but brought to passage, “Erin’s Law,” which requires all school districts to provide age-appropriate sexual abuse prevention and awareness education.
Thank you Senator Bucco for making Erin and all of us feel like we matter. May you rest in peace and all future leaders follow in your footsteps.”
Aura Dunn served as District Director for Rep. Rodney P. Frelinghuysen.