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W.Va. government leaders issue statements on passing of former lawmaker Bob Ashley

West Virginia Press Association

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Jim Justice, Senate President Craig Blair and House Speaker Roger Hanshaw have issued statements following the passing of former lawmaker, legislative director Bob Ashley.

Statement from Gov. Justice:

“Cathy and I are truly heartbroken about Bob’s passing, and we’ll continue praying for his entire family.

Bob never met a stranger and was an amazing person. He served this State for decades as a delegate, a senator, and as my legislative director and a regional representative. I know that our friends in the House and Senate would agree he had a unique ability to connect with everyone. I never saw Bob without a smile, as he had an unmatched love for life and his work. He was someone you could always rely on, and we will remember Bob with nothing but fond memories.

We ask all West Virginians to keep his family in your prayers.”

Statement from Senate President Craig Blair:

“I was shocked to learn of the passing of our former colleague and dear friend, Bob Ashley. Bob’s long and dedicated service to Roane County and the state of West Virginia is a testament to the love he had for this state and its people. That love, of course, was secondary to the love he had for his wife, sons, and grandchildren. On behalf of the Senate, we extend our deepest condolences to Bob’s family, and we will keep them in our prayers as they come together to remember this life well lived.”

Statement from House Speaker Roger Hanshaw:

“Bob was the kind of public servant we unfortunately don’t see enough of these days: the person who runs for public office to serve the greater good. He came from a family of service, and we all should be grateful he and Anita nurtured an even further generation of service.

“Bob represented my district when I was growing up, and he’s who first asked me to consider running for office, serving as the model legislator. He showed how to keep your family first. He led what was then the Minority party with a decorum that can be tough to muster when you’re always on the losing side of what you believe is right. And he demonstrated congeniality when he returned some years later as Republicans were in the Majority.

“Maya Angelou said people forget what you say and what you do, but they never forget how you made them feel, and that’s evident with Bob Ashley. He’s leaving us much too early, but if you ever had the pleasure of interacting with Bob, you know that every interaction with him was in fact a pleasure, and always with a smile. He will be sorely missed.”

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