PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The following are statements on the passing of former Sen. Arlen Specter.

President Obama’s Statement:
“Arlen Specter was always a fighter. From his days stamping out corruption as a prosecutor in Philadelphia to his three decades of service in the Senate, Arlen was fiercely independent – never putting party or ideology ahead of the people he was chosen to serve. He brought that same toughness and determination to his personal struggles, using his own story to inspire others. When he announced that his cancer had returned in 2005, Arlen said, “I have beaten a brain tumor, bypass heart surgery and many tough political opponents and I’m going to beat this, too.” Arlen fought that battle for seven more years with the same resolve he used to fight for stem-cell research funding, veterans health, and countless other issues that will continue to change lives for years to come. Michelle and I send our thoughts and prayers to Joan and the rest of the Specter family.”

Sen. Bob Casey’s Statement:
“I am deeply saddened to learn that my friend Arlen Specter has passed away. I had the honor and privilege of working with him in the U.S. Senate on behalf of the people of Pennsylvania. Arlen was a statesman and a problem solver who was able to work with Democrats and Republicans in the best interest of our Commonwealth and our Country. Arlen fought cancer courageously and his enduring legacy of support for the National Institutes of Health will help countless Americans as they battle cancer and other ailments. My thoughts and prayers are with Joan, Shanin, Stephen and his entire family.”

Gov. Tom Corbett’s Statement:
“For more than five decades, Arlen Specter lived a life devoted to public service on behalf of the people of Pennsylvania and the United States. Pennsylvania has lost a political figure whose career stretched from Philadelphia’s City Hall to the chambers of the U.S. Senate. We are saddened to hear of his death.”

United States Senate Candidate Tom Smith’s Statement:
“Today, Saundy and I join Pennsylvanians in mourning the loss of a dedicated public servant. Our thoughts and prayers are with Senator Specter’s family and friends at this difficult time.”

Congressman Mark Critz’s Statement:
“Senator Specter will be remembered for a lot things: a prosecutor and legal expert, an independent-minded legislator, a champion for cancer and other medical research, and a fixture in Pennsylvania and U.S. politics for over three decades. We are a better Commonwealth and nation because of his service and I hope it is a comfort to his wife, Joan, and to their entire family that so many grieve their loss and are praying for them during this sad time.”

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald’s Statement:
“Our nation and Commonwealth lost a remarkable public servant and moderate political voice today. Arlen Specter was quick to reach across party and ideological lines and to put the needs of Americans above partisanship. He was measured in his views and worked seamlessly with both Republicans and Democrats. Senator Specter was a supporter of both business and labor and an authority on foreign relations, but more than anything, he was a champion of Pennsylvania. The thoughts and prayers of the residents of Allegheny County are with his family.”

Former Republican Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum’s Statement:
“Serving with Senator Specter for more than a decade, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that he was a fighter, and his commitment to public service was admirable. Karen and I extend our deepest sympathies and prayers to the entire Specter family as they mourn their loss.”

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