McConnell Thanks Departing Field Assistant Sue Tharp for 36 Years of Service
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding Sue Tharp, McConnell field assistant since 1985:
“Few public servants know Western Kentucky and its people as well as my friend Sue Tharp.
“Sue has served as my team’s Paducah-based field assistant since 1985. She is retiring this month after nearly four decades of uninterrupted service to the Commonwealth.
“Sue holds the record for being the longest continuously-serving employee from my entire career in public service. She has been with me since day one of my Senate service.
“So today I’d like to honor this one-of-a-kind Kentuckian whose steady leadership in Western Kentucky has been integral to my office’s mission to serve the Bluegrass and the people who call it home.
“When you ask Sue’s colleagues to describe their coworker, you hear one word again and again: ‘dedicated.’ In thirty-six years, Sue has scarcely missed a day in the office. She tackles each constituent problem with her quick wit and smile. Her knowledge of Western Kentucky is encyclopedic.
“And Sue has played a key part in training almost every other field staffer on our team, sharing hard-won wisdom with the next generation of public servants.
“When I think of Sue’s service to Kentucky, two images come to mind.
“The first is Sue winning over even the most impassioned callers to my office — whether the call started out friendly or not. Sue will listen carefully, record their concerns, and do all she can to help.
“But then she’ll also invariably end up discussing other favorite topics, such as quilting. Sue is an avid volunteer at the National Quilt Museum in Paducah. So when the conversation wraps up, Sue’ll be smiling — and you know the person who just hung up on the other end is, too.
“The second image comes from an event called Fancy Farm, which is an annual picnic in Graves County. It’s a crown jewel of Western Kentucky’s heritage. Sue is one of the event’s most enthusiastic attendees.
“She often travels down early to peruse the area’s many antique stores. She loves attending the church barbeque, taking in the speeches, and cheering with the crowd. Any politician who steps up to that podium is guaranteed to notice Sue amidst the throng.
“Sue’s day job has been public service for more than three decades. But even that hasn’t soaked up all of her love and service to her community. She is also an enthusiastic volunteer, a frequent participant in Paducah’s ambassador program, and one of the city’s all-around biggest boosters.
“If you sample a Paducah boat tour or roll into town for a ribbon-cutting, it might well be Sue Tharp welcoming you to town, decked out in the ambassadors’ characteristic red jacket. Visit the Quilt Museum and it’ll be Sue handing you a brochure. Vacation in one of Western Kentucky’s beautiful parks and Sue Tharp will be waving to you from the door of her RV.
“Sue’s dedication to Western Kentucky and its people is boundless. For all these years, she understood that while my staff report to me, all of us report to the people of Kentucky.
“In fact, at one point, I believe Sue even lived directly across the street from our Paducah office.
“So while Sue is departing our team, I am positive she isn’t finished serving Kentucky. This is just the next chapter. More time to volunteer; more time to be generous to her friends and neighbors; and more time with her husband Dan and son Benjamin.
“Sue, I couldn’t be more grateful. Thank you for your decades of hard work and for your lasting impact on our Commonwealth.”