Members of Oklahoma's congressional delegation have high praise for the World War II veteran, long-time Kansas Senator and three-time presidential candidate, Bob Dole, who passed away Sunday at the age of 98.
Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) served with Dole in the Senate and in a statement said that doing so was a privilege and that the two were close friends.
“Bob’s loyal service to this country was seen time and time again," Sen. Inhofe stated, "but I must confess that I will miss his humor the most. He understood the power of laughter to unify even the most divided political opposition.”
After a combat injury paralyzed his right arm and stole his dream of becoming a medical doctor, Dole got a law degree and pursued politics, winning election to the House of Representatives in 1960. He was elected to the Senate in 1968 and eventually became the most powerful Republican in Congress.
“America has lost a true public servant and statesman," said Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK3) whose own public service briefly overlapped with Dole's. "Senator Dole lived a remarkable life, one that was dedicated to the greatest American experiment – Democracy.”
Dole's final run for the nation's highest office came in 1996 -- "My time to leave this office has come and I will seek the presidency and nothing to fall back on but the judgment of the people and nowhere to go but the White House, or home," he said at a Senate news conference.
Dole won the Republican nomination but lost badly in the general election to President Bill Clinton.
“As a next-door Kansas neighbor, Bob Dole knew Oklahomans and Oklahoma issues well," said Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK4) in a statement. "He had countless friends in our state and will be deeply missed and sincerely mourned in Oklahoma.”