Mary Bono Mack: Legislative career ‘an experience of a lifetime’

Rep. Mary Bono Mack issued some parting words today as she reflected on her final days in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Palm Springs Republican — who has been spotted on CNN but hasn’t given any local interviews since she was defeated in the Nov. 6 election —  issued the statement as part of a news release that touted the reauthorization of the U.S. SAFE WEB Act.

Her comments come after a lengthy description of her 14-year legislative career, including the creation of the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto National Mountains Monument.

Here are her comments in full:

“As I prepare to leave Congress after more than 14 terrific years, I remain very optimistic about the future of America. Admittedly, we face some daunting challenges as a nation in the months and years ahead.  But the true greatness of America is measured by the things that unite us, not divide us.

“We are a people bound by enduring ideals and principles, which are embedded in an unshakable belief in truth, justice, opportunity and freedom for all.

“Despite the many challenges we are facing today, I continue to believe that our best years are ahead of us, because ours is a nation which values courage, compassion and character and stands united – and undeterred – as freedom’s greatest ally around the world.  It has been my extraordinary honor and great privilege to serve in the United States House of Representatives since 1998, and I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished.

“So today, looking back on my eight terms in Congress, I’m reminded of one of my favorite quotes: ‘Don’t be sad that it’s over.  Be happy that it happened.’  As we approach this joyous holiday season, I have much to be thankful for and happy about.  This truly has been an experience of a lifetime.”

Bono Mack lost the election to Democrat Raul Ruiz.

She has not yet announced what she’ll do come January, although she does plan on attending the annual Palm Springs International Film Festival. Her husband, Rep. Connie Mack of Florida, also lost his U.S. Senate bid. But her daughter’s family — including infant grandson Sonny — live in the Washington area.