• 48°

Sen. Rayborn served SW Miss. well

Last Friday morning, April 5, the citizens of Lincoln, Lawrence, Pike, Walthall and all other counties of Southwest Mississippi lost a dedicated and great public servant.  Senator W.L. Rayborn was a rare example of what one man can really do when given the opportunity to serve.

W.L.’s Mississippi State Capitol office and his Lincoln County door were always open to any citizen needing his assistance with Mississippi state government.

Regardless of political party affiliation, one’s social status, one’s position in the community or even when those needing his assistance had voted for him or not made no difference to W.L. He was very serious about his public service. If a citizen needed him, he was there to do all he could for them. I have witnessed his service and devotion to others as a Senator, for 20 years, and in more recent years as a private citizen.

I was a young man when I met W.L. in 1979. We had both been elected as new members of the Mississippi Senate and we had become fast and close friends. We were Senate Chamber desk mates and shared a motel room during legislative sessions. He retired in 2000 as a Democrat and I retired in 2012 as a Republican after my having served Governor Haley Barbour for nine years and as a Republican. Our different political party memberships never interfered with our close personal friendship. W.L. was always there for me, over these past 40 years, and I was always there for him.

I will miss him but I know the citizens of Brookhaven and surrounding counties will never forget his devotion to them.

Rest in peace, W.L.

Charles Pittman is a former state senator.