CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – Longtime U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller has bid an emotional farewell to the Senate with his final floor speech.
In his 33-minute-long speech Thursday in Washington, D.C., the 77-year-old West Virginia Democrat stressed the importance of compromise.
He spoke about his transformative experience first coming to Emmons, West Virginia, in 1964 as a 27-year-old VISTA volunteer.
He cautioned of the cruelty of perpetual campaigning and the pitfalls in “gotcha” politics.
Rockefeller’s retirement comes after about five decades in public service in West Virginia. He first won his Senate seat in 1984.
He was elected to the state House of Delegates in 1966. He then served as secretary of state, president of West Virginia Wesleyan College, governor and U.S. senator.
Republican Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito won Rockefeller’s open seat last month.
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