Former U.S. Rep. Ralph Regula and others react to the death of Sen. Edward Kennedy.

Here’s some reaction from political leaders on Sen. Edward Kennedy’s death:

“You had to respect his leadership in the Senate. There’s no question he was an impressive force over there.”

— Retired Congressman Ralph Regula, whose 36 years in the House of Representatives coincided with Kennedy’s time in the Senate. Regula and Kennedy, however, didn’t serve on corresponding committees so they never worked together.

“Sen. Kennedy’s life embodied public service for decades, and nearly every significant piece of legislation, including the foundations of health care reform, and other legislation passing through our nation’s Capitol to improve the lives of Americans bore his imprint.

“He believed in people, and in our best as a people, who dared to hope for a better future. A man belonging to a family familiar with tragedy, the Kennedys’ contribution to America is forever remembered.”

— U.S. Rep. John Boccieri, D-Alliance

“Sen. Kennedy was a friend and mentor to Sen. Brown. They served together on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, where Sen. Brown was regularly reminded of Sen. Kennedy’s commitment to social and economic justice. Sen. Brown will continue to honor Sen. Kennedy’s legacy by fighting to ensure that all Americans have access to the best health care and educational opportunities available. Sen. Brown and Connie’s thoughts are with Victoria and Sen. Kennedy’s family as the nation mourns his loss.”

— Statement issued on behalf of Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, who is currently en route from a congressional delegation trip to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

In May 2008, Brown issued a statement calling Kennedy “a colleague, a mentor, and a friend” and an “inspiration for millions of Americans and a courageous fighter for working families across the country.”

Canton Repository