Local political leaders react to Sen. John McCain's death

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Reaction to the death of Senator John McCain has been pouring in from across the country.

Sympathy and support for the McCain family is coming from near and far.

Veterans at a ceremony at Chicago's Vietnam War Memorial Plaza Sunday to commemorate 50 years since the war remembered McCain, a fellow veteran, with a moment of silence.

At a news conference about the upcoming midterm elections taking place in the shadow of Trump Tower, Congressmen John Lewis and Raja Krishnamoorthi shared their thoughts on McCain's passing.

"We lost an American hero," Lewis said. "We lost someone who spoke up and spoke out to people around the world."

"Senator McCain was one of those persistent, independent voices among Republicans. Today, now more than ever, we need independent voices," Krishnamoorthi said.

Governor Bruce Rauner issued a statement calling McCain a "true hero."

"He lived a life of service and courage that makes us all proud to be Americans," he said.

Senator Tammy Duckworth said in a statement that McCain, a fellow veteran, inspired her.

"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," she said. "In fact, I met him there for the first time when he visited us Wounded Warriors."

Senator Dick Durbin tweeted his assuredness of McCain's next destination.

"My friend and America's hero, John McCain, landed safely tonight at Heaven's gates," he said.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said his thoughts would be with McCain's wife Cindy and their family.
"Senator John McCain is gone but will live on through the countless number of lives he and his good work touched," Emanuel said.

Illinois House Republican leader Jim Durkin served as the state chairman for McCain's presidential campaigns.

"It's not often that we are able to witness a true patriot and American hero who gave his life for his country whether it was in serving for our country in the military and also serving in the U.S. Senate," Durkin said.

Durkin remembered seeing McCain in Chicago about a year and a half ago.

"I can just say it was an honor for me to be able to call him my friend and have known him for this many years," he said.
Copyright © 2022 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.