The 8-term Capital Hill veteran announced earlier this year that he would retire from the House of Representatives at the end of 2012, and was making the donation to Hiram in part to ensure that the documents remained within the district for use by the people of Northeast Ohio.
Dino DiSanto, LaTourette’s chief of staff said the longtime Congressman had other reasons for the donation to Hiram.
“Steve also felt that since Lake Erie College had the Congressional papers of (longtime Congressman) William Stanton (who preceded LaTourette in representing the district), that it was only fitting that his papers should go to another college in the district,” DiSanto said. “In addition, Steve felt that it was appropriate that his papers should go to an institution once led by another bearded, left-handed Congressman who represented the area – James A. Garfield.”
Garfield, who served as President of Hiram (then called the Western Reserve Eclectic Institute), before going on to a military career and politics, served nine terms in Congress representing Ohio’s 19th district, and ultimately the Presidency of the United States. The 14th District LaTourette has represented since 1995 is geographically part of the same district Garfield served in Congress more than 100 years earlier.
“Of course we are extremely excited to know that Steve’s papers will be housed permanently in our college archives,” said Thomas V. Chema, President of Hiram. “Steve’s donation will make a great complement to our wonderful collection of his predecessor’s (Garfield) documents as college president, Congressman and President. It will enable us to make available to our students, faculty and scholars from all over Ohio, the record of Congressman LaTourette’s 18 years of achievement and service.”
LaTourette announced his intention not to seek re-election this year citing disappointment with the fractious partisan atmosphere that has characterized Congress in recent years.