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Community, political leaders react to former Sen. Bob Dole's death

Bob Dole
Posted at 11:56 AM, Dec 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-05 20:02:31-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The tributes are pouring out both nationally and locally for former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole, who died early Sunday morning.

Dole was the Republican presidential nominee who ran against former President Bill Clinton in 1996. Clinton said Dole should inspire people "for generations to come" in a Tweet.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ordered the flags at the U.S. Capitol to be flown at half-staff to honor Dole.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly also ordered flags throughout Kansas be flown at half-staff until sunset Dec. 9.

“Senator Dole’s legacy goes far beyond the walls of Congress," Kelly said. "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."

On Twitter, Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas said Dole was "one of the finest leader I have ever had the fortune of meeting and served his state, country, and the world with great distinction.

Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt said "for decades, Missouri Republicans considered Bob Dole as our third United States Senator. His quick wit and his keen understanding of America’s role in the world were always part of any conversation you had with him. A great life, well lived.”

Current congress members representing Kansas also took the time to pay tribute to Dole.

In a statement released by Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran, he remembered Dole "as a true American hero and an exemplary statesman – a man who chose what was right over what was convenient."

Kansas Sen. Roger Marshall called Dole "an American hero, a statesman of the highest order & one of the greatest legislators of all time. Most importantly, he was forever a Kansan who always put service above self."

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver also commented on Dole's passing.

"I will always remember his sharp wit, passion for country and Kansas, and deep-seated desire to find common ground to help address the challenges facing the American people," Cleaver said.

Rep. Sharice Davids said "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."

Rep. Jake LaTurner said 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."

Dole was seriously injured while serving in WWII. Rep. Tracey Mann commented on the strength Dole showed during his recovery.

"His unquenchable spirit carried him through. He simply refused to take 'no' for an answer and chose to fight for his life and recovery," Mann said.

Kansas 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, Senator Dole dedicated his life - in the military and in elected office - to selfless service to his beloved country and his fellow Americans."

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt commented on the impact Dole had on him after he attended Dole's rally in St. Louis in 1996.

"What struck me that day and always was how much he loved his country," Schmitt said in a Tweet. "He epitomized the Greatest Generation with his sacrifice and service."

Gov. Laura Kelly, echoed Schmidt's sentiment saying "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."

Outside of Kansas and Missouri, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders honored Dole for not only his service in Congress, but also the military.

"Bob Dole served his country with courage on the battlefield, and with dignity in the Senate. Jane and I send our condolences to his family," Sanders said in a tweet.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Dole was a "Kansas war hero who believed in America’s exceptionalism with his whole heart. He devoted his life to serving Kansas & America—in and out of uniform."

This story will be updated with more reaction from the community.