by Dick Hall-Sizemore
Former Del. A.R. “Pete” Giesen died last Friday. He was one of the good ones.
He served in the House of Delegates from 1934-1974 and 1975-1996, representing the Staunton-Waynesboro area. He was a moderate Valley Republican.
I have somewhat of a bias. He chaired the first legislative committee I staffed when I joined the Division of Legislative Services. Back in the those days, the major study committees ran through something called the Virginia Advisory Legislative Council, comprised of the leadership of the General Assembly. It was the Study Committee on the Needs of Young Children that he chaired that year.
Pete was smart and a savvy politician. But, most of all, he was a nice person who had a kind word for everyone he came into contact with, including staff. He also had a great sense of humor and a great sense of perspective.
After he retired from the legislature, he lobbied some for Harrisonburg and Rockingham County and taught political science part-time at James Madison University.
The General Assembly could use a lot more Pete Giesens.