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House Honors Bauer, The Longest-Serving Legislator In State History

Courtesy Indiana House Democrats

The Indiana House honored the longest-serving lawmaker in state history Wednesday, Rep. Pat Bauer (D-South Bend).

Lawmakers regularly honor outgoing members – Bauer’s just came with an extra bit of history. Remarks from his colleagues ranged from the humorous, like Rep. Phil GiaQuinta’s (D-Fort Wayne):

“In 1971, you passed your first bill – tax exemption for the aged," GiaQuinta says. "Which might come in handy now.”

To the heartfelt, like Rep. Earl Harris (D-East Chicago)’s, whose father served with Bauer for 33 years before his death.

“I will miss him being here but what I really want to thank him – excuse me, sorry – for is the relationship and friendship that he had with my father," Harris says. "That meant so much to my mother and I.”

Bauer’s parting words included some old stories and a thanks to his fellow legislators.

“You’re sacrificing but you’re trying to do something that’s good – you’re trying to help your community," Bauer says. "And that’s why I kept coming back.”

Bauer is retiring after 50 years in the General Assembly.

Contact Brandon at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.