CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Former U.S. Rep. Ron Lewis has donated his congressional papers to Campbellsville University.
The News-Enterprise (bit.ly/Z5UThV) reports Lewis spoke during a short dedication ceremony that was held Monday at the school's Montgomery library.
Lewis says researchers might be able to use the documents, which were organized and placed into 87 boxes, to analyze how he made decisions, but he hopes they will excuse scribbles and doodles in the margins of some documents.
"Those are from some of those boring committee meetings," he said.
Lewis, a Republican, won the 2nd Congressional District seat in a 1994 special election and retired in 2009.
"It was your office. You allowed me to use it, to work for you," he said. "It was hard work but it was truly a blessing."
After arriving in Congress, Lewis quickly made friends, according to U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan, R-Tennessee, who also spoke at the ceremony.
"Almost immediately he became one of the most popular members of Congress," Duncan said.
That helped him work effectively with other Republicans and with Democrats.
Duncan said Lewis played a key part in some major legislative decisions, including a bill that ended price controls and a quota system for farmers who grew burley tobacco while providing some with payments.
"As far as the tobacco buyout, we'd still be working on it if it wasn't for Ron Lewis," Duncan said.
Although Lewis spent time with foreign officials, congressional leaders and President George W. Bush, the former congressman said the aspect of the job he misses most meeting with voters.
John Chowning, a Campbellsville vice president who worked on Lewis' staff for three years, also noted Lewis' close connection with people in his district.
"He truly was the people's representative," Chowning said. "He kept in contact with his district."
Information from: The News-Enterprise, http://www.thenewsenterprise.com