Kansas officials react to the death of former U.S. Senator Bob Dole

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Kansas state officials are reacting to the death of former U.S. Senator Bob Dole.

According to Dole’s family, he died in his sleep Sunday morning, Dec. 5 at the age of 98.

Thank you for the outpouring of love over the last year, it continues to sustain us as we grieve the loss of the precious man we knew as husband and father. Bob Dole was never only ours – we shared him with Americans from every walk of life and every political persuasion. He dedicated his life to serving you, and so it is heartwarming that so many honor him at his passing.  

“America has lost one of its heroes; our family has lost its rock. We will smile as we recall his gifted sense of humor. We will take comfort from the extraordinary moments of our lifetimes together.

“Bob Dole never forgot where he came from. He embodied the integrity, humor, compassion and unbounded work ethic of the wide open plains of his youth. He was a powerful voice for pragmatic conservatism, and it was that unique Kansan combination of attributes and values that made him such a giant of the Senate. “

Our grief is softened by our gratitude for having shared in so vibrant a life. May God receive His son home with love and the most important phrase of all time, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” “

The Dole family

The Elizabeth Dole Foundation released a statement saying, “Senator Robert Joseph Dole died early this morning in his sleep. At his death, at age 98, he had served the United States of America faithfully for 79 years.”

Attorney General Derek Schmidt (Republican – Kan.) released the following statement:

America has lost a national hero and Kansas a favorite son. A powerful example of the courage and integrity of the Greatest Generation, Senator Dole dedicated his life – in the military and in elected office – to selfless service to his beloved country and his fellow Americans. Jennifer’s and my prayers are with the family of this extraordinary person. God bless America.”

Attorney General Derek Schmidt (R – Kan.)

Congressman Jake LaTurner (Republican – Kan.) released the following statement:

Today, Kansas and our nation lost a devoted statesman, a role model, and a true American hero.

“Senator Dole was the very personification of service and never wavered from his passion for a better and stronger America. Senator Dole will always be an inspiration to me as I serve Kansas, and his legacy will live on forever.

“Suzanne and I are praying for his wife Elizabeth, his daughter Robin, and the entire Dole family. God Bless Bob Dole.”

Congressman Jake LaTurner (R – Kan.)

Congressman LaTurner shared the following tweets about Dole:

Congressman Ron Estes (Republican – Kan.) released the following statement:

Susan and I are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Sen. Bob Dole. Bob is an American icon, a heartland hero, and the epitome of Kansas grit and values. His life has been an inspiration to me and countless individuals around the world, and a number of leaders can point to advice and encouragement they received from this giant in Kansas and U.S. politics. His wounds fighting for freedom in World War II only strengthened his character, and his love of this country was fully displayed in his decades of public service that followed. We are joining with Americans across the country who are praying for his wife Elizabeth and the entire Dole family as they grieve the loss of this incredible man of devotion and strength. He will be greatly missed.”

Congressman Ron Estes (R – Kan.)

Governor Laura Kelly (Democrat – Kan.) released the following statement:

I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Bob Dole this morning. Senator Dole was many things  — a war hero, a father, a husband, a public servant; and to Kansans, a man who embodied everything good and decent about Kansas and about America. 

“In public office, Senator Dole was always a voice for Kansas. However, his work in the Senate also had a profound impact on all Americans. Most notably, his efforts to protect Social Security in 1983 and to ensure passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, which transformed the lives of those living with a disability. 

“Senator Dole’s legacy goes far beyond the walls of Congress. He was a larger-than-life presence in our nation’s politics and demonstrated a decency, a humility, and a civility that should serve as a model for those of us in public life. 

“My thoughts are with his wife, Elizabeth, his family and all those who loved Bob Dole.”

Governor Laura Kelly (D – Kan.)

Representative Tracey Mann (Republican – Kan.) released the following statement:

America has lost a statesman, a noble war hero, and a service-minded Kansan who never forgot where he came from. Senator Bob Dole died peacefully at the age of 98, having left his district, state, and country better for his many contributions over 79 years of public life.

“In WW2, Bob Dole was struck in the back and nearly killed by a German shell just months before the war ended. He was expected to die, but he lived. He was told that he would never recover from his injuries (which included paralysis from the neck down), but his unquenchable spirit carried him through. He simply refused to take “no“ for an answer and chose to fight for his life and recovery, the scars of which he carried with him for the rest of his life. He was awarded two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star for his military service. 

“Before he became a United States Senator, Bob Dole was the congressman representing our Big First District of Kansas. After serving in the House of Representatives for eight years, Kansans sent him to the United States Senate where he served for 27 years, acted as the majority leader twice, and became his party’s nominee to the highest office in the land in 1996. It’s inspiring and humbling to stand on the shoulders of such greatness from Russell, Kansas.  

“I was blessed to spend some time with Senator Dole a few weeks ago. His love for Kansas and its people were on full display in his excited curiosity about our plans for the Big First. He was a thoughtful, committed, and energetic champion for our nation and our way of life in rural Kansas. He always treated others with respect and kindness – especially his fellow veterans as he attended nearly every Honor Flight that came to D.C.

“I left our time together inspired and commissioned as Sen. Dole made it clear that we must never forget where we come from. He knew, deep down, that the heartbeat of our Nation is found in places like his hometown of Russell. His legacy will echo into the future, and his patriotic spirit serves as a benchmark for anyone who believes that our brightest days are yet to come. Thank you Senator Dole for working tirelessly to make the world a better place – may you rest in peace. 

“My prayers and gratitude for Sen. Dole go out to his family.”

Representative Tracey Mann (R – Kan.)

Representative Mann also tweeted the following:

Representative Sharice Davids (Democrat – Kan.) released the following statement:

I’m very sorry to hear of the passing of Bob Dole, a dedicated public servant from Russell, Kansas to the ranks of the Army and all the way to the halls of Capitol Hill. He was a true statesman and honorable man.

“My thoughts are with his family and loved ones as our state mourns his loss—though we know his legacy will surely live on, preparing future generations of Kansans to lead.”

Representative Sharice Davids (D – Kan.)

United States Senator Jerry Moran (Republican – Kan.) released the following statement:

Senator Bob Dole will be remembered as a true American hero and an exemplary statesman – a man who chose what was right over what was convenient. Whether it was on the battlefield, in the halls of Congress, or in his everyday life, Senator Dole’s passion and dedication to his fellow Kansan and to his country was a steady reminder that a single person can make a difference and change the world.

“Robba and I mourn his passing, but we also celebrate his incredible life. Senator Dole was raised in Russell, Kan., before serving in World War II where he earned two Purple Hearts. He then spent a remarkable 36 years on Capitol Hill, rising to become Senate Majority Leader and leading significant legislative achievements, including the American with Disabilities Act and the Dole-McGovern Food for Education program. Known for working toward commonsense solutions over partisan ones, he became the first Kansan since Dwight D. Eisenhower to be the Republican nominee for president.

“Even after retiring from Congress, he rarely missed an opportunity to greet Kansans during their Honor Flights that took them to the World War II Memorial he helped make a reality in Washington, D.C. He personally thanked each of them for their service, making these veterans’ experience all the more memorable. He also continued to be a leader on ending global hunger and was awarded the 2008 World Food Prize. Throughout his life, he exemplified the ideals, sacrifice and tenacity of the Greatest Generation.

“On the floor of the United States Senate, I use Senator Dole’s desk, and I am regularly reminded of his tireless commitment to Kansas values while being, first and foremost, a statesman who treated others with respect and kindness. I am honored to have known him, to have learned from him and to have considered him a good friend and mentor. Robba and I are praying for Senator Elizabeth Dole and the entire Dole family and team.”

U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.)

Senator Moran shared his statement on Facebook with the following images:

Senator Moran also shared tweets about Dole, including another image of the two:

United States Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. (Republican – Kan.) released the following statement:

Today, Kansas and our entire nation are heartbroken having lost a giant with the passing of Senator Bob Dole. As one of the heroes from our greatest generation, you would be hard pressed to find someone with a bigger heart and more resilient than Senator Dole. He was an American hero, a statesman of the highest order, and one of the greatest legislators of all time.

“While he had incredible negotiating skills and was tough as nails, it was his huge heart and ability to work across the aisle that constantly led the way and delivered results for all Americans. For him, it was always more than politics, it was about being a positive influence for our nation and the world.

“I will forever be humbled and honored to follow in his footsteps here in Congress. Each day I walk the halls of the Capitol, I recognize the boots I wore in the House and now in the Senate, were once worn by Senator Dole and on days like this, those boots look mighty large. There is no doubt, Laina and I are blessed to consider him as one of our greatest role models, a mentor, and a dear friend.

“Senator Dole always imparted the best advice to me, which was to ‘always remember where you are from’ and when there is ‘any problem too big, just go listen to the people of Kansas – they will give you the answer.’ He was forever a Kansan who always put service above self and was profoundly dedicated to bettering the lives of all those in our great state.

“On this difficult day, I join all Kansans in lifting up and praying for God’s comfort and peace for Elizabeth and Robin and all the Dole family and Dole team – for the path forward without Senator Dole as our leading statesman will remain difficult each passing day.”

Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-Kan.)

Senator Marshall also shared his statement on Facebook with pictures. To see the pictures, you can go to his Facebook page.

Senator Marshall also tweeted about Dole with the aforementioned pictures:

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