Secretary of State Rokita's Statement on the death of Governor Frank O'Bannon

Contact: Cam Savage

Secretary of State Rokita's Statement on the death of Governor Frank O'Bannon

"On May 13th of this year I had the opportunity to be seated with Governor Frank O'Bannon at the Pepsi Coliseum in Indianapolis for a speech by President George W. Bush.

Although we are members of different political parties, Governor O'Bannon was his usual gracious and kind self. Many in the crowd that day came forward to shake the governor's hand, share a memory or get a photo taken with the governor. Having just been elected as Secretary of State the previous November, many of the people who visited with the governor that day did not recognize me. Governor O'Bannon made it a point to introduce me to every one with nothing but the kindest of words.

There are countless stories of the generosity and kindness of Frank O'Bannon. In my short time as Secretary of State I have been fortunate enough to spend time with him and experience that generosity and kindness first hand. I was particularly touched when Governor O'Bannon chose to attend my swearing in last January. After the intensity of a long campaign, Governor O'Bannon welcomed me to the State House with the class and dignity for which he will forever be remembered.

My thoughts and prayers today are with Mrs. O'Bannon and the entire O'Bannon family.

Governor O'Bannon dedicated his life to public service and served Indiana well, not only as our Governor, but also as Indiana's ambassador to the rest of the world. I will remember Governor O'Bannon as a true public servant, whose character and leadership stands as a model for all of us who are drawn to serve in government. I will miss him very much."