Reaction to the death of former Montana Sen. John Melcher on Thursday:

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"As a father, husband, veteran and veterinarian, John Melcher never stopped fighting for Montana. He was a steadfast leader who dedicated his life's work to serving his country, supporting his family and friends, and helping those he never met. His lasting legacy will be felt for generations to come. Sharla and I remember him dearly and send our blessings to those he loved." — U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Montana.

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"Senator Melcher was a statesman whose legacy of decency and dedication to public service and to the people of Montana set a high bar for all those who followed in his footsteps. Lisa and my thoughts are with John's family, colleagues and friends during this difficult time." — Montana Gov. Steve Bullock.

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"We've lost a friend, a relentless advocate for Montana's working families, a decorated World War II hero, and a great man. But we are blessed that John's legacy lives on through all he accomplished for our state and that his achievements will serve as towering monuments to one of Montana's greatest statesmen for generations to come." — Nancy Keenan, Montana Democratic Party executive director.