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Bob Dole, former senator and Republican presidential candidate, diagnosed with stage four lung cancer

Former US Senator Bob Dole salutes before the flag-draped coffin of former US President George H. W. Bush at the US Capitol rotunda December 4, 2018 in Washington, DC.

Alex Edleman | AFP | Getty Images

Bob Dole, the former U.S. senator and Republican presidential candidate, announced Thursday that he has been diagnosed with stage four lung cancer.

“My first treatment will begin on Monday. While I certainly have some hurdles ahead, I also know that I join millions of Americans who face significant health challenges of their own,” Dole said in a statement.

Dole, 97, served as a U.S. senator from Kansas for nearly 30 years.

He was also Gerald Ford’s vice presidential nominee in his 1976 campaign, and shortly after tested the waters in the Republican presidential primaries in 1980.

Dole secured the GOP nomination for the presidency in 1996 but fell short to Bill Clinton in the Democrat’s successful bid for reelection. Conservative H. Ross Perot mounted a third-party run in the election.

Dole supported Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, telling “PBS NewsHour” that Trump “is a strong leader and he is someone who can work with Congress. There are a lot of similarities between my days in the Senate and what Donald is proposing.”

More recently, Dole said he felt the Commission on Presidential Debates treated Trump unfairly during the 2020 presidential debates.

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