For Immediate Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, members of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL), mourned the passing of Arizona Senator, war hero, presidential candidate, POW and statesman, John McCain, and called on elected leaders at all levels of our Nation to follow his example of courage, sacrifice, honor, and country first.
“Our nation has lost one of its finest sons. Senator John McCain was never afraid to buck the trend and fight for what he believed in. Whether it was enduring torture instead of taking the easy way out of the ‘Hanoi Hilton’ prison, taking on members of his own party when principle was at stake or working across the aisle to reach consensus, McCain embodied the essence of what a legislative craftsman and leader should be. As Senate Majority Leader of Puerto Rico, McCain serves as an inspiration to me and my colleagues of how a true legislator should work. As the senator himself noted in his farewell letter, he ‘made mistakes,’ but even then, he would rise to the occasion and make amends. His bravery on the battlefield and his courage on the Senate floor will never be forgotten. May he rest in peace,” said NHCSL President Senator Carmelo Ríos (PR).
State Representative Diego Espinoza, who is also the Co-Chair of the Arizona Latino Legislative Caucus, and member of NHCSL’s Executive Committee, said: “Arizonans, Americans and so many others whom he touched throughout his distinguished career are all in sorrow after the passing of the legendary Senator John McCain. He and I didn’t always agree but, in the end, I always respected his moral compass. From campaign finance reform to taking on the military industrial complex and protecting our veterans, Senator McCain’s legislative legacy will live on for generations. His courageous example will endure the test of times.”
“Senator John McCain kept his boots on until the end. He had the courage needed to fight for what he believed in until his last breath. Only fate would have it that Sen. McCain died on the same day, nine years later, as his friend and ally across the aisle on immigration reform and so many other issues, the other lion of the Senate, Ted Kennedy. McCain stood firm for what he believed in, from spearheading several efforts to passing comprehensive immigration reform, opposing the president’s termination of DACA, calling out the bigotry and hatred that has slowly crept back into the highest levels of public discourse, and working tirelessly to protect American democracy,” Arizona State Representative, and NHCSL Immigration Task Force Chair, Tony Navarrete said.
Arizona State Representative and NHCSL Civil and Human Right Task Force Chair, César Chávez, said: “Senator John McCain is an example that all Americans must follow to continue upholding the greatness of this nation. Whether it was putting his life on the line for the liberties we all cherish, or defending the American people in the US Senate, his valiance always exerted pride and honor. As if fighting cancer were not enough, just two months ago, Senator McCain took on another battle against the current family separation policy, calling it ‘an affront to the decency of the American people, and contrary to principles and values upon which our Nation was founded.’ Senator McCain’s passing closes a crucial chapter of political history, but he leaves us a legacy and an example that defines us as Americans.”
“It is very telling of our times that the now famous intervention by Senator McCain to correct one of his supporters, while defending his opponent and fellow Senator, Barack Obama, at a town hall during the 2008 campaign is now perceived to be one of his finest moments. In reality, the basic human decency that made John McCain the man he was should make it clear to those of us in public service that we should strive to make the bar set by Senator McCain the norm instead of the exception. The only way to appropriately honor such a hero is to follow his example,” Arizona State Senator, and one of NHCSL’s representatives in the Quad Caucus of State Legislators of Color, Martín Quezada said.
NHCSL is the premier national association of Hispanic state legislators working to design and implement policies and procedures that will improve the quality of life for Hispanics throughout the country. NHCSL was founded in 1989 as a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)3 with the mission to be the most effective voice for the more than 410 Hispanic legislators. For more information visit www.nhcsl.org.