San Diego Union Tribune, Editorial Board, November 28, 2014

Mark Wyland is in his final days as a state senator representing north San Diego County. The Solana Beach Republican, 68, is termed out after having served in the Legislature with distinction for 14 years.

This editorial page extends its thanks to all those who serve in public office, regardless of their political views. It’s often a demanding grind to build the coalitions necessary to make democracy work. Not only that, politicians must have especially thick skin, given the negative presumptions many Americans have about their honesty and motivations.

But our appreciation of Wyland goes beyond this basic point. While in the public eye, the Escondido native has been different, and in good ways. He’s won praise from Democrats as well as Republicans for his thoughtful focus on helping English-language learners and promoting vocational education. He’s tried to break through a Sacramento establishment mindset that doesn’t always seem to grasp the personal and family pain that comes with joblessness.

Wyland has been well-served by his unusual background as both a lumber company executive and a Fulbright Scholar with degrees from Pomona College and Columbia University; he could easily have been an international diplomat. This gave him a broader, richer view of life in California — a view that the Legislature is likely to miss.