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Former Kansas lawmaker remembered fondly by political adversaries

By Jim Grawe
Published On: Apr 18 2014 10:27:32 PM CDT
WICHITA, Kan. -

The plane crash that killed former State Representative Donald Dahl cost Representative Jan Pauls a close friend.  They served together in the Kansas Legislature for many years.

Pauls, who is a Democrat from Hutchinson, says the former Navy pilot turned lawmaker got into politics because of his strong convictions.

"He just cared about Christian values and cared about people," Pauls says.  "He was concerned that some people were trying to lead Kansas away from our traditional values and backgrounds."

But Dahl didn't make politics personal, according to Representative Jim Ward of Wichita, also a Democrat.  Ward has fond memories of the Hillsboro Republican.

"We didn't always agree on the issues, but always enjoyed each other's company," Ward says.  "Don was good people.  He was old school, Navy man, straight forward.  He was pretty much Kansas.  He was a pretty solid conservative, but let's get things done and would reach across the aisle and work with both Democrats and Republicans."

Dahl was Navy pilot.  He never married.  He retired to the Hillsboro area where he grew up to take care of his elderly mother who recently passed away.

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