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'A true statesman': Arizona political figures react to senator Bob Dole's death

The McCain family and Gov. Doug Ducey offered their condolences.

PHOENIX — Political figures in Arizona offered heartfelt condolences after it was announced that Bob Dole, a long-time former U.S. senator, died on Sunday morning. 

Bob Dole, who overcame disabling war wounds to become a sharp-tongued Senate leader from Kansas, a Republican presidential candidate and then a symbol and celebrant of his dwindling generation of World War II veterans, was 98-years-old.

His wife, Elizabeth Dole, posted the announcement Sunday on Twitter after he revealed in February 2021 that he’d been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.

RELATED: Former Senator, presidential candidate Bob Dole dies at 98

Cindy McCain and Meghan McCain, the widow and daughter of the late Arizona Sen. John McCain, both made statements on Bob Dole's passing. 

"Rest In Peace Bob Dole. You are the last of the lions of the Senate," Cindy McCain wrote on Twitter. 

"Very sad to hear of Bob Doles passing. He was a true statesman who fought for our country honorably and personified all that is the greatest generation," Meghan McCain posted. 

Bob Dole and John McCain worked together in the U.S. Senate for 10 years while Bob Dole was the Senate Majority leader for the Republican party. 

The two also related on being war veterans, Bob Dole fought in World War II and John McCain in the Vietnam War. Bob Dole revealed that he wore a prisoner of war bracelet engraved with John McCain’s name while John McCain was held prisoner in Vietnam. 

When John McCain died in 2018, Bob Dole expressed his grief. 

"Elizabeth and I are saddened to hear the news about our friend, John McCain. John is a great American hero who has spent his entire life serving his country with distinction, selflessness, and honor," Bob Dole posted on Twitter at the time. 

Gov. Doug Ducey posted a thread of tweets in response to the news, quoting John McCain when he nominated Bob Dole for president. 

RELATED: Former US Senator Bob Dole diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer

During his 36-year career on Capitol Hill, Bob Dole became one of the most influential legislators and party leaders in the Senate, combining a talent for compromise with a caustic wit, which he often turned on himself but didn’t hesitate to turn on others, too. 

He tried three times to become president. The last was in 1996, when he won the Republican nomination only to see President Bill Clinton reelected. He sought his party’s presidential nomination in 1980 and 1988 and was the 1976 GOP vice presidential candidate on the losing ticket with President Gerald Ford.

Bob Dole devoted his later years to the cause of wounded veterans, their fallen comrades at Arlington National Cemetery and remembrance of the fading generation of World War II vets.  

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