Gov. Rick Snyder issued the following statement after the passing of former state Sen. Harry Gast:
"The passing of St. Joseph legislator and highly respected former Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Harry Gast should remind all of us of the value of public service. Sen. Gast dedicated a large part of his life to serving Michigan residents in many elected posts, including as a township official, state representative and state senator. Named as Legislator of the Year by organizations as diverse as the Michigan United Conservation Clubs, the Chiefs of Police and the Michigan Townships Association, he became known for his famous no-nonsense attitude, but ready smile and hearty laugh. He was first and foremost a family man and a very proud farmer. Harry was a fixture in Lansing for over 30 years and was a true problem-solver.
"Sue and I extend our condolences to Jean Gast, the couple's three children and all of their family and friends."