U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch was among the Utah leaders joining a chorus of condolences and remembrances from around the nation for U.S. Sen. John McCain, the Arizona Republican and two-time presidential candidate who died Saturday. McCain, who had been fighting brain cancer but whose family announced the day before his death he was stopping medical treatment, was 81.
Hatch, who is himself retiring from the Senate at the end of the year, served alongside McCain for more than three decades, and praised McCain’s “lifetime of selfless service.”
“No one is more worthy of the word ‘hero’ than John McCain,” Hatch said in a statement. “The Senate—indeed, the nation—will miss the steady, guiding presence of a principled statesman.”
In a tweet, Jenny Wilson, the Democrat running for Utah's open U.S. Senate seat, expressed her thoughts about McCain's passing. "Americans will forever look to Senator John McCain's legacy as a symbol of true public service," she said. "Dignity, humility, and justice; a patriot in every sense of the word. My thoughts are with his family as our nation mourns."
Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee for Hatch’s Senate seat, posted reflections about his relationship with McCain on his web page. Romney lost to McCain in the race to become the GOP presidential nominee in 2008
Heavy hearts with the loss of a great friend. pic.twitter.com/dU6kDtScU4
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) August 26, 2018
Republican Mike Lee, Utah’s junior senator, said in a statement posted to Twitter that it was an honor to serve with McCain and that the late senator’s family lost with his passing “a loving husband, father, and family member, and the country has lost a true American hero.”
As Naval officer and pilot fighting in the Vietnam War, McCain spent five years as a North Vietnamese prisoner of war. After leaving military service and then serving in the U.S. House of Representatives, McCain was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1986. He ran for president in 2000 and then again in 2008, when as the GOP presidential nominee he lost the election to Democrat Barack Obama.
As a solider, war hero, and public servant, Senator John McCain spent his life serving our country with honor. His bravery and sacrifice made the world a better place and his legacy will live on. Senator McCain is a giant of a man that will be missed deeply.
— Rep. John Curtis (@RepJohnCurtis) August 26, 2018
U.S. Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, also issued a statement: “As an American, I am very grateful for the life, service and sacrifice of Sen. John McCain. His brave fight as a prisoner of war, as a principled Senator and during his illness speak to his outstanding character. My family and I are sad to hear of his death, and my thoughts are with his family and friends tonight.”
A patriot, war hero, true American and incredible Senator. John McCain lived a life full of courage with continued dedication to his country. My prayers are with the McCain family at this time.
— Rep. Chris Stewart (@RepChrisStewart) August 26, 2018
Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes (R) said in a statement: "A war hero and a patriot to the end, Sen. McCain put America first, before party or personal interest. He was always kind and encouraging to me in our personal interactions, particularly on the issue of fighting human trafficking, something near to his heart and that of his wife, Cindy. I wish her and all of his family and loved ones my sincerest condolences and express my deep respect for Senator McCain's life of sacrifice and service."