Former Sen. Bob Dole will be visiting Leavenworth next week.

Former Sen. Bob Dole will be visiting Leavenworth next week.

The longtime senator from Kansas and 1996 presidential candidate will be making two stops in Leavenworth County, visiting Tonganoxie on April 22 before stopping in the city of Leavenworth the following day.

Both events are open to the public.

“I’m not running for anything,” Dole said in a statement released through Alston & Bird, the Washington, D.C.,  law firm where he works. “I just want to see old friends and meet new ones, regardless of party."

The Leavenworth visit will be from 12:15-1:30 p.m. April 23 at the Heritage Center, 109 Delaware St., according to the release.

The Tonganoxie visit will be from 12:30-1:30 p.m. April 22 at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9271, 910 E. First St., according to Leavenworth County Republican Party Chairman Michael Powell.

The visits will be part of a nine-county tour the former senator is making through Kansas that will include stops in Olathe, Paola and the Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas, Dole spokeswoman Marion Watkins said.

"He just kind of wants to return to Kansas and say, 'Hi,' to everyone to again," she said.

A native of Russell, Dole represented Kansas in the U.S. Senate from 1969 to 1996. He also served eight years in the Kansas House of Representatives, according to biographies from the U.S. Senate and Alston & Bird.

He holds the record as the longest serving Republican leader in the Senate.

Dole was the Republican nominee for president in 1996, but lost to President Bill Clinton.

In 1976, Dole was President Gerald Ford's running mate for vice president. Ford lost the election to President Jimmy Carter.

Dole also served in the Army during World War II and was seriously wounded.
Powell called Dole the "senior elder statesman of Kansas."

"He's known all throughout the United States," Powell said.

Powell said Dole's visits in Leavenworth County will give people the chance to talk with the former senator one-on-one.