Metro-East News

Illinois politicians express their grief at news of Sen. John McCain’s death

Sen. John McCain dies at 81 after cancer battle

After stopping medical treatment for his brain cancer, John McCain, six-term Arizona senator and 2008 Republican presidential nominee, died {in his home} at age 81. The senator and former Navy pilot would have turned 82 next week.
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After stopping medical treatment for his brain cancer, John McCain, six-term Arizona senator and 2008 Republican presidential nominee, died {in his home} at age 81. The senator and former Navy pilot would have turned 82 next week.

Lawmakers from Southern Illinois and across the state issued statements Saturday evening expressing their grief after learning of Sen. John McCain’s death.

U.S. Rep. Mike Bost

Bost expressed his condolences to McCain’s family on behalf of himself and his wife, Tracy, on Twitter.

“Tracy and I send our prayers to the McCain family during this very difficult time. Senator McCain, you will be truly missed.”

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis

Davis also expressed his grief on Twitter.

“Praying for the McCain family tonight. The country has lost a true American hero. May his service and patriotism always be remembered.”

U.S. Rep. John Shimkus

Shimkus sent out the following statement in a news release:

“Senator John McCain devoted his life to the country he loved and served as the very model of a warrior and statesman. The legacy of his many decades of public service left no question that he unapologetically put country first. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, loved ones, and our nation that now mourns his passing.”

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin

Durbin Tweeted about McCain’s death, as well.

“My friend and America’s hero, John McCain, landed safely tonight at Heaven’s gates.”

U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth

Duckworth sent out the following statements in a news release:

“My heart is heavy today as I join countless Americans across our country in mourning the loss of one of our nation’s greatest leaders and statesmen, one of my personal heroes, Senator John McCain. Throughout his life – as a Naval Aviator, a Prisoner of War who endured years of torture, a Congressman, and a six-term Senator – John repeatedly showed how anything is possible when armed with determination, a deep sense of patriotism and an unbreakable will.”

“His refusal to give up in the face of adversity inspired me when I was a mission-less helicopter pilot with no legs recovering at Walter Reed. In fact, I met him there for the first time when he visited us Wounded Warriors. He joked that he and I both flew into a missile and that didn’t take much skill. It’s what you do afterwards that matters. His unyielding optimism showed me there was a way to continue serving my country and to advance the core values of the nation that we both fought to protect. His integrity and commitment to putting country above all else as an elected official is an example I have tried to embrace during the comparatively short time I have had the honor of holding political office.

“I will forever treasure the privilege of working with John McCain in the Senate—even if it was only for a short time—and I will be forever grateful for the sacrifices he made in service to the greatest country the world has ever known. I hope the heights he reached and the life he led can be a lesson to us all about the power of perseverance and the ability of every American to overcome any challenge and make our country a better place.”

Gov. Bruce Rauner

The Illinois governor issued a statement on Twitter, including a quote from 20th century English writer G.K. Chesterton:

“‘The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.’ RIP Sen. John McCain, a fighter who loved his country. We’ll miss him, but we’ll never forget his examples of courage and grace under fire.”

Illinois House of Representatives Republican Leader Jim Durkin

Durkin expressed his grief in a statement sent out in a news release. Durkin served as the Illinois campaign chairman for McCain’s presidential campaigns in 2000 and 2008.

“Today is sad day for this nation. Rarely in history do we come upon an individual that personifies sacrifice and dedication which founded our country. My time with Senator McCain was special and memorable, and I am honored to call this American hero my friend. Godspeed, Senator.”

Illinois House GOP

Illinois House of Representatives Republicans issued the following statement on Twitter:

“We are heartbroken by the loss of U.S. Senator and American Hero John McCain. His unwavering leadership, patriotism, and ambition made him a giant in the hearts of so many, here and around the world. He will be dearly missed but he will never be forgotten. RIP John McCain.”

Illinois 12th candidate Brendan Kelly

The state’s attorney for St. Clair County and Democratic candidate challenging Bost in the 12th congressional district took to Twitter to express his condolences.

“With all his heart, mind and soul, John McCain defended our country, our faith in democracy, and our faith in one another. May that soul have fair winds and following seas all the way to the shores of heaven. #EternalFatherStrongToSave”

Illinois governor candidate JB Pritzker

The Democratic candidate for governor issued the following statement on Twitter on behalf of himself and his wife, MK Muenster Pritzker:

“MK and I send our deepest thoughts and prayers to the McCain family. Senator John McCain was a hero and an unwavering leader. His commitment to public service, his dedication to family, and his military career will forever inspire us, and millions around the world.

Illinois 13th candidate Betsy Dirksen Londrigan

Londrigan, the Democratic candidate challenging Davis in the 13th congressional district, issued the following statement on Twitter:

“Senator McCain served with honor, dignity, and integrity. He will be missed. Rest in Peace, Senator McCain.”

Reporter Kelsey Landis: 618-239-2110, @kelseylandis