Ohio leaders react to Sen. John McCain's death

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    John McCain waves to supporters after his speech at rally in Defiance, Ohio, in 2008.

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  • Leaders from Ohio reacted this weekend to news of the death of Sen. John McCain, whom many called a hero, patriot, and friend.

    Mr. McCain died Saturday night of brain cancer. He was 81.

    Ohio Gov. John Kasich said in a statement, “Karen and I join the nation, and so many around the world, in mourning the death of Senator John McCain, an iconic American hero, patriot, and statesman without compare. Few have served their country so well or so long. Having been privileged to call John a friend over many years, I will miss his straight talk and unfailing good humor, his steadfast resolve, and absolute devotion to public service. I will miss my old friend.”

    Congressman Marcy Kaptur (D., Ohio), the senior woman in the U.S. House of Representatives, said in a statement that she extends her deepest sympathies and gratitude to Mr. McCain’s family.

    “America has lost a freedom fighter who fearlessly and robustly guarded liberty’s ramparts at home and abroad,” she said. “John McCain never wavered from his sworn oath to protect and defend our nation. He truly stood in a class of his own.”

    Mike DeWine, Ohio’s attorney general and the GOP’s 2018 candidate for governor, was Ohio chairman of Mr. McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign.

    “It is with heavy hearts and deep sadness that Fran and I send our condolences to Cindy, John’s mother Roberta, and all of the McCain family,” Mr. DeWine said in a statement. “Our friend, John, faced his last battle like he faced other challenges in his life, with the same resolve, strength, grace, and courage that has inspired generations.”

    Mr. McCain and Mr. DeWine both went to Washington in 1983, first serving in the House of Representatives together and eventually serving alongside each other once again in the Senate.

    “At times solemn, at times witty, always determined, always sincere, John never stopped giving back to the country he loved so dearly,” Mr. DeWine said. “He never chose a path because it was easy; he chose a path because he believed it was right. Our nation is better off because of his service. The McCain family has lost their patriarch, Arizona has lost a long-time public servant, and America has lost a hero.”

    Richard Cordray, the Democratic nominee for governor and a former Ohio attorney general, said on Twitter, “Saddened to hear of the passing of John McCain — a hero who sacrificed more for our country than many of us ever could imagine. He had noble qualities of character and our nation is better off because of his service.”

    U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio) said on Twitter, “John McCain was an American hero who embodied our nation’s most cherished values: service and sacrifice. He was a leader to senators from both parties, a touchstone on foreign and domestic issues. Just as importantly, he made no secret of his love for his wife, Cindy, and his family. Connie and I are thinking of them now. May their memories of this great man sustain them.”

    U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio), said in a statement, “John McCain was a true patriot who lived the motto of his 2008 campaign: Country First. Always. He was also a friend and someone I looked to for counsel. In the Senate, we relied on his expertise on national security issues, were inspired by his life’s story, and charmed by his sense of humor. He was a lion of the Senate, and the place will not be the same place without him.”