Merkley Statement on the Passing of Senator Mark Hatfield

Portland – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement on the passing of former Governor and Senator Mark O. Hatfield of Oregon.

“I am deeply saddened to hear about Senator Hatfield’s death.

“Senator Hatfield took courageous positions of conscience — from opposing the Vietnam War to advocating  for the abolition of the death penalty – in the face of substantial political opposition.  He inspired many to public service, encouraging them to work to do what is right rather than what is convenient or popular.

“Senator Hatfield played an enormous role in making Oregon what it is today.  His hands were at work in the development of so many institutions we treasure as Oregonians, from the Oregon Health and Sciences University, to the Mark Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, to the Opal Creek Wilderness, to name just a few.  He should also be remembered, in this age of bitter partisanship, for his bipartisan and gracious diplomacy.

“I have greatly admired Senator Hatfield since I had the chance to be one of the hundreds of interns he hosted over his decades of public service.  Tonight, a great man has passed from among us and we will miss him greatly.  Mary and I will be holding his wife and partner Antoinette and his family in our prayers.”