CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -Some of Mecklenburg County's best known democratic faces showed up for annual luncheon of The Good Democrats, but the honoree of the day came from South of the state line.
Former South Carolina Congressman John Spratt began a long run started back in 1982. He's now back home at a critical time.
Spratt said, "We've got some big problems facing us and I would like to be part of the solution."
Public service in life's sunset years will come from the sidelines. His career on the hill ended a few weeks ago as a result of the November Republican landslide.
Twelfth district congressman Mel Watt says his colleague will be sorely missed.
"People don't realize what a real loss that is to our institution and to our democracy," Watt said.
Former Charlotte Mayor Harvey Gantt said Spratt's influence went well beyond the headlines.
According to Gantt, "he developed an expertise of the budget of this country that few people could match."
Spratt is also credited for having extensive knowledge regarding national defense, but like so many others his thoughts are with a another former colleague...Gabriel Gifford.
"Let's hope she'll make a comeback so she can be an inspiration to all of us," he said.
His sister Jane Spratt McColl is proud of his record of service.
She said, "he wasn't doing it for personal glory. I glad that he has a new life to be real honest."
Not one to mince words, Spratt is among those calling for calmer voices and cooler heads.
"We need to tone down the rhetoric in our democracy," Spratt said.