RIP, Jack Kemp

Former Congressman, Housing Sec, presidential hopeful, and veep candidate Jack Kemp passed away yesterday:

Jack Kemp, the nine-term congressman from Western New York, housing secretary under President George H. W. Bush and Bob Dole’s 1996 running mate, has passed away, his family announced Saturday night.

A professional quarterback for 13 years in the NFL, CFL and AFL, Kemp was diagnosed with cancer in January, after seeing a doctor last year about pain in his hip. “It’s not good,” said one friend of his at the time. “But he’s telling people that he’s going to deal with it and fight. It’s just Jack Kemp being Jack Kemp.”

He played a pivotal role in the ascent of the Republican Party, moving the party to embrace supply side economics and making tax cuts a central element of the party platform.

From 1977, the Buffalo-area congressman advocated in favor of the Kemp-Roth tax cut, which became law in 1981 under President Ronald Reagan. Kemp served in the House from 1971 to 1989.


The family’s statement:

“Jack Kemp passed peacefully into the presence of the Lord shortly after 6 o’clock this evening, surrounded by the love of his family and pastor, and believing with Isaiah, ‘My strength and my courage is the Lord.’ During the treatment of his cancer, Jack expressed his gratitude for the thoughts and prayers of so many friends, a gratitude which the Kemp family shares.”

I didn’t always agree with Jack Kemp on everything, but he always struck me as one of those politicians whose heart was in the right place, and whose every move didn’t smack of pure political opportunism.

Thoughts and prayers go to his family, and may he RIP.

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