Hello, Northern Arizona! This month, I’d like to share a story about an Arizona legend we will all miss, Senator John McCain. We all know the highlights of his incredible life, and the enduring legacy he has on Arizona and the nation. Senator McCain was a statesman who earned the respect of his colleagues on both sides of the aisle.
On election night of 2016, after I was declared the winner in the mayoral election, I received a number of calls, but my favorite was from Senator McCain. I answered the phone and heard, “Ms. Evans, this is Senator McCain.” I was floored; I am not used to getting calls on my personal phone from any United States Senator, let alone a giant like John McCain. I asked how he had my number, he laughed and said that an Arizona senator wouldn’t be much good if he couldn’t get a mayor’s number. He said that public service is a challenge and that he was trying to figure out if he should call and offer his congratulations or condolences. He landed on both telling me congratulations and giving me his condolences. Senator McCain then told me to save his number and promised his help. At no point did it matter that we were not members of the same political party.
It was an honor to work with his office to secure funding for the Veteran’s Home that’s now under construction, the first in Northern Arizona, and a shame he won’t see its completion. He was a senator who got things done for the people he represented. In an increasingly divided nation, I think it helps to remember that it doesn’t have to be this way, leaders can work together to better the lives of those they represent, and Senator McCain gives us an example of how to do that. Thank you, Senator. You are missed. FBN
By Coral Evans
Coral Evans is the mayor of Flagstaff.