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(This Letter to the Editor appeared in the Lock Haven Express.)

February 5, 2016

Glenn Thompson: Statesman vs. Politician

"The difference between a politician and a statesman is that a politician thinks about the next election while the statesman thinks about the next generation." —James Freeman Clarke

In a nutshell, a politician is someone who belongs to a political party, and most likely is far more interested in the betterment of their party than that of the nation in whole. A statesman is a person who even when belonging to a political party, can put their party obligations aside along with their personal needs and aspirations to do what is in the best interest of the country and their constituency.

I point out the distinction because we here in Central Pennsylvania, specifically those of us who live within the Fifth U.S. Congressional District, are fortunate to have such a statesman representing us. His name is Glenn "GT" Thompson.

Rep. Thompson has recently exemplified these qualities and showed his commitment to his constituents of the 5th District. Congressman Thompson has just completed a week-long marathon tour of sorts, aptly named the "Listening & Leading Tour," that canvassed the entire Fifth District here in Pennsylvania.

The tour kicked off Jan. 18. During this tour, Congressman Thompson made it a point to meet with citizens of Pennsylvania from all walks of life to address their concerns personally.

From meeting with community leaders in Forest County, to a packed session where every seat was filled in Warren, Pa., for an answer-and-question session, and providing legislative updates on regional and national issues, to going on a tour in Strattanville, Pa., of New Era Building Systems modular home building plant.

Congressman Thompson also met with educators, farmers, veterans and business leaders to address issues from the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 that replaces the No Child Left Behind Act, to addressing agricultural concerns and needs of the Pennsylvania farmers as not only a congressman from Pennsylvania, but as chairman of the House Agriculture Committee and he is also an advocate of conserving the environment and natural resources, serving on the subcommittee for Conservation and Forestry.

GT also met with numerous veterans while on this tour, listening to their concerns and needs which he will take back to Washington. Thompson is especially keen to the needs of the military and the veterans who have served this nation as he is the father of a currently serving soldier. There are numerous politicians from local to federal who many will never know, see, or hear except for in parades or on the radio during election times, but Congressman Thompson makes it a point to be visible and available at various times and locations throughout the year, each year to be accountable to the residents and constituents of the Fifth District.

Many citizens have criticisms of their elected officials, but do not do any more than voice displeasure. Congressman Thompson encourages everyone to listen to updates and be informed, then speak with him directly to address and air their concerns during his "Team GT Tele-Town Hall" conference times. You can call in to get your news straight from the source and ask the congressman a question, express your opinions and concerns, or maybe to thank him for the accomplishments he's made on our behalf. Information can be found at

At a time of political unrest and uncertainty, it is important to know that we have someone of integrity and trustworthiness to carry our concerns to Washington, D.C., and do the right thing in representing us, "The People." I encourage everyone to visit the websites, review the congressman's voting record, call into the Tele-Town Hall meetings, and learn how this down-to-earth, humble citizen is representing the very best of Pennsylvania.

Dennis Packer

Blanchard, PA

(This Letter to the Editor appeared in the Lock Haven Express.)




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