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Texas Leaders Lament Sharon’s Loss

JERUSALEM - DECEMBER 27: (FILE) Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is seen as he takes part in the lighting of a Hanukkah candle at his Jerusalem office December 27, 2005 in Jerusalem, Israel. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon underwent an additional brain scan January 7, 2006 as doctors prepared to assess how much damage the Israeli leader has suffered from his severe stroke. (credit: Kevin Frayer-Pool/Getty Images)

JERUSALEM – DECEMBER 27: (FILE) Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is seen as he takes part in the lighting of a Hanukkah candle at his Jerusalem office December 27, 2005 in Jerusalem, Israel. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon underwent an additional brain scan January 7, 2006 as doctors prepared to assess how much damage the Israeli leader has suffered from his severe stroke. (credit: Kevin Frayer-Pool/Getty Images)

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AUSTIN (AP) — Former President George W. Bush is calling ex-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon “a warrior for the ages.” Gov. Rick Perry is mourning the loss of “an uncompromising patriot.”

The Israeli soldier-turned-politician-turned statesman died Saturday, eight years after a stroke put him in a coma. He was 85.

In a statement, Bush said he was honored to call Sharon a friend and “partner in seeking security for the Holy Land and a better, peaceful Middle East.”

Perry became governor when Bush left for Washington in December 2000. Perry said Sharon “faced down the multiple enemies surrounding his young country with selfless determination and unflinching courage.”

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz echoed Bush, saying: “Israel has lost a great warrior.”

Attorney General Greg Abbot, now running for governor, called Sharon “a giant leader.”

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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