Kansas lawmakers, officials react to Sen. Bob Dole’s passing

(AP Photo/John Milburn)
(AP Photo/John Milburn)(John Milburn | ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Published: Dec. 5, 2021 at 11:43 AM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - News of Sen. Bob Dole’s passing has touched the lives of lawmakers and officials from Kansas.

U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) issued a statement Sunday morning.

He said, “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 Americans 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’ experiences all the more memorable. He also continued to be a leader in 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. Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) also released a statement regarding the passing of Bob Dole.

He said, “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.”

Gov. Laura Kelly released her own statement saying she was deeply saddened by the news.

The governor said, “Sen. 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 decency, humility, and 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.”

In accordance with Executive Order 20-30, and in coordination with the proclamation signed by President Joe Biden, Governor Laura Kelly has ordered flags throughout the State of Kansas to be flown at half-staff starting immediately until sunset on December 9, 2021 in honor of the passing of Senator Bob Dole.

Attorney General, Derek Schmidt, said, “America has lost a national hero and Kansas a favorite son. A powerful example of the courage and integrity of the greatest generation, Sen. 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.”

House Democratic Leader, Tom Sawyer issued a statement Sunday saying:

“Senator Dole was a pillar of Kansas and national politics. He was a good man with an appreciation for the gravity of his work. I send my condolences to his friends and family. His memory will be remembered and respected by Kansans and politicians alike. I thank him for his service.”

Senate President Ty Masterson also released a statement on the passing of Bob Dole on behalf of the Kansas Senate, calling Dole an American hero.

“On behalf of the Kansas Senate, today we offer our condolences as we mourn the loss of Bob Dole. A member of the greatest generation, Senator Dole’s heroism in World War II and decades of public service made Kansans enormously proud. Throughout his extraordinary career, from Russell County Attorney and State Representative to Majority Leader in the U.S. Senate and Republican presidential nominee, Bob Dole always put his country first. A great man, he will forever be missed but never forgotten. As Kansans, we will always be proud. As Americans, we will always be thankful.”

Congressman Jake LaTurner issued a statement as well, saying that he will ensure that Dole’s legacy will live on.

“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.”

Rep. Tracey Mann also issued a statement honoring the life of Senator Bob Dole.

“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.”

Rep. Ron Estes (R-Kansas) released the following statement after the death of Sen. Bob Dole.

“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.”

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