‘A true patriot’: Floridians from across the political spectrum remember Bob Dole

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Florida leaders from across the political spectrum remembered Bob Dole Sunday, expressing their condolences for the former Senate majority leader and GOP presidential candidate from Kansas.

Dole died in his sleep Sunday at age 98 after a 10-month battle with stage 4 lung cancer, his wife, former U.S. Labor Secretary Elizabeth Dole announced in a statement.

He was well-respected by current and former politicians in Florida — where he was a frequent visitor to his wife’s condo in Bal Harbour, just north of Surfside and Miami Beach.

In 2016, Dole initially backed former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush for the GOP presidential nomination, though he later endorsed Donald Trump.

Bush, who considered Dole a mentor in politics, expressed his gratitude toward his late friend on social media.

“I join many in thanking him and his family for many contributions, loyal service, and his continual love of country,” wrote Bush, who lives in Miami.

Republican U.S. Rep. and former Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez wrote on Twitter that Dole was “an exemplary servant and a true patriot.”

“He used his career to appeal to the goodness of all Americans,” he wrote. “We are better off for Bob Dole having served our country. It’s my hope that his leadership and his legacy continue to serve as an inspiration to all.”

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz also paid his condolences.

“Heartfelt condolences and prayers to the family of Senator Bob Dole,” he wrote on Twitter. “We are grateful for his service to our country. May he Rest In Eternal Peace.”

South Florida Democrat U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz honored Dole on social media in a photo with him and his wife, a former North Carolina Senator and U.S. Labor Secretary.

“Sen. Bob Dole was a gentleman, statesman and public servant committed to transcending politics to help Americans thrive,” she wrote. “His service, in defense of, and to our country, were exemplary. We could use more like him right about now. May his memory be for a blessing.”

Former U.S. Rep and Democrat candidate for governor Gwen Graham called his death “very sad news.” Graham’s father, former U.S. Senator and Florida Gov. Bob Graham, served with Dole in the Senate.

“Even in disagreement, they respected each other,” Graham said. “I was honored to know him. Rest In Peace, Sir.”

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