CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - News of Former Senator George Voinovich's passing is being met with an outpouring of accolades and emotions, from past and present colleagues and friends.
"Ohio has just suffered a real tough loss today," said Republican State Senator Thomas Patton, the Majority Floor Leader for the 24th District in Ohio.
Voinovich's former director of Policy and Legislation, Timothy Cosgrove, started volunteering for Voinovich when he was just 14, when Voinovich was running for county commissioner.
"George Voinovich was a remarkable man. What made him so special was his core. He was a good man who dedicated his life to public service and was proud of it. He loved Cleveland, and I suspect there wasn't more he was proud of, in his professional life, than being mayor of Cleveland," said Cosgrove.
Patton says Voinovich encouraged him in his decision to run for office, despite the fact Patton would be running as a Republican in a region that was largely made up of Democrats.
"He was someone who showed you, if you worked hard and you let the people know, you could accomplish it - not just to me, but to several people, I know he has been that role model," added Patton.
Senator Voinovich was just weeks away from his 80th birthday. He was also weeks away from having the opportunity to attend the Republican National Convention.
"He was thrilled to be able to show off his hometown. He had helped to attempt to get conventions here in the past - that's the real sad part that he's not here to run the victory lap that he deserved to run," said Patton.
But aside from the politics and public service, close friends and colleagues can't help but mention the legacy of love Voinovich leaves behind as a devoted father, grandfather and husband.
"My heart breaks for Janet Voinovich. They actually met at the Young Republican Club, many, many years ago. They've been together an awfully long time. It's hard to imagine one without the other," said Patton, "His was just a life well-lived."
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