Happy Mother's Day to all you mamas out there. We invited some of Utah's politicians to pay tribute to their mothers.

Sen. Carlene Walker: The epitome of a liberated woman before they invented the term, my mother raised my sister alone for three years while my dad fought in World War II. Feisty independence balanced with 1950s June Cleaver-esque homemaking skills; she endures as the strongest role model of my life.

Sen. Patricia Jones: Everyone thinks my mom is remarkable, especially for her age. She's a hip 86 years old and beautiful. No one ever comes close to guessing her age. She is a marvelous caregiver to my 90-year-old dad and so many others.

Mayor Peter Corroon: My mother taught me volunteerism. From an early age, I remember my mother volunteering at hospitals, senior centers or other facilities. Even on vacation, we visited a facility. At over 80 years old, she still volunteers. Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

Rep. Rob Bishop: Mom had a great respect for America and was always involved in making the community better. The way she and Dad did things, I assumed all families were active in politics and civic affairs. She taught me to care about this country and other people. When I didn't, she had a hairbrush to remind me.

Rep. Brad King: My mother has the patience of Job, the intellect of Einstein, the looks of a super-model, is more fun than a barrel of monkeys, faster than a speeding bullet and is able to leap tall buildings at a single bound. As I recall, she was able to do even more when she was younger. I guess that it takes a lot of energy to raise a family. Thanks, Mom, I love you!

Sen. Bob Bennett: Mother always pushed me to do the things I should have done but sometimes didn't; when I did what she asked in a productive way, she was there cheering me on. Whatever anyone else ever thought of me, I always knew that Mother was by my side.

Sen. Karen Mayne: My mom was a very strong and noble woman. She taught me strength and courage. She taught me that if we have a problem, we face it, deal with it and go forward. I've tried to live my life that way.

Sen. Orrin Hatch: My mom, Helen, now passed away, was a friend to everybody. When someone told her, "Helen, you are so kind, you would have something nice to say about the devil," my mother responded, "He sure is a hard worker." My mother-in-law, Edries Hansen, recently broke her hip and wrist. She never complained. When Matt Harpring sent her an autographed picture, this great Jazz fan was thrilled! She has his picture alongside her husband's as she undergoes rehab for her injuries. Both mothers are pioneers and great women.

Rep. Karen Morgan: My mom's greatest influence has been through her cheerful attitude and her example of love and service to others. She's always there to lend a helping hand or give a word of encouragement to those in need.

Sen. John Valentine: My mother taught me a very important lesson early in my life: "You can do anything. You can overcome anything. You can be anything you want to be, if you are willing to work hard enough and pay the price."

Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.: My mother has reinforced in me the principles of charity and love for community and a much deeper appreciation for humanity in all its different permutations. She's also been known to provide a swift kick to the rear end to one doing something that doesn't meet her approval. I have many dents on my backside demonstrating her accuracy. My debate skills were honed early on — mostly late at night in the kitchen — by my constantly trying to prove my innocence to her when I was clearly guilty. I wish her a very happy Mother's Day.

Mayor Ralph Becker: My mom has always shown wonderful love and support for everything I've pursued throughout my life. She has also played an unusual role in my political world: She is a devoted Republican who engages in intense dialogue. She may be misguided, but I love her.

Salt Lake County GOP Chairman James Evans: My mother is the example of grace and dignity, and she taught me the true meaning of inner strength and perseverance as we watched my father (and her husband of 52 years) decline in health and pass away on March 1. She is my hero.

Rep. Jim Matheson: My mom taught me that there is value in public service and that you should try to make the world better than you found it. Through her lifetime of community service, she showed me how rewarding that choice can be.

Webb: My mother, Eleanor, was like a sponge. She soaked up all the hurt from scraped knees and bruised egos in a boisterous family of 10 kids, without ever reflecting back any anger or offense ... an angelic example of unconditional love.

Pignanelli: Holladay City Council member and renown Irish mother, Patricia Murphy Pignanelli, passed to her children the important keys to success in life and politics: stubborn determination, the gift of gab and the greatest weapon of all — guilt.


Republican LaVarr Webb is a political consultant and lobbyist. Previously he was policy deputy to Gov. Mike Leavitt and a Deseret News managing editor. E-mail: [email protected]. Democrat Frank Pignanelli is Salt Lake attorney, lobbyist and political adviser. Pignanelli served 10 years in the Utah House of Representatives, six years as House minority leader. E-mail: [email protected]