“His message was very positive”: Holtzmann from Kingston remembers Bob Dole

Wilkes-Barre — In 1986, 20-year-old Mark Holtzmann decided to run for Congress.

Republican Holtzmann lost to Democratic Rep. Paul Kanjorski in the election, and he served in the US House of Representatives for 13 terms.

Holtzmann remembers most about the defeat when he received a phone call from Senator Bob Dole the day after the election.

“Senator Dole wasn’t any more supportive,” said Holtzmann, who now lives in Denver, Colorado. “I still remember the phone ringing at 11am. His message was very positive.”

Doll died on Sunday at the age of 98.

Holtzmann said he didn’t get a lot of calls after the election, but Dole always contacted him and advised Kingston’s youth to stay positive.

Holtzmann said that Dole said: Not negative, as many great people were defeated in the first election. Then learn and move forward. “

According to Holtzmann, Dole basically “recovered” and told him to keep moving forward.

Holtzmann, 19, who chaired President Ronald Reagan’s Pennsylvania campaign in 1980, said he supported Dole in 1996 when he ran for Republican presidential candidate.

I first met in 1976

Holtzmann, son of Seymour, Kingston and Evelyn Holtzmann of Florida, said he first met Doll when he stopped the campaign at Wilkes-Barre / Scranton International Airport in 1976. Dole ran for Republican Vice Presidential candidate with President Gerald R. Ford.

“At that time, Pennsylvania was important in the presidential election, but not as important as it is today,” Holtzmann said. “I was thrilled to have Senator Dole take a picture. And ten years later, when I ran for Congress, Senator Dole hosted an event for me at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC. bottom.”

Holtzmann and Dole continued to be friends and worked together on business issues for years.

“When I was working in Europe in 1998, I introduced Senator Dole and entrepreneur, Gabor Varczegi of Fotex, then the largest retailer in Hungary,” Holtzman said. “They became friends and Doll was asked to sit on the board. He and I were on the Footex board together.”

In late 1998 Holtzmann said he had done a lot of work in Poland and met Polish President Alexander Kwasnievski.

“President Kwasnievski was planning to visit the United States, but he (did not know) many people in American politics,” Holtzmann said. “I contacted Senator Dole and asked if he would host a dinner for President Kwasnievsky. Senator Dole hosted a dinner attended by many of our country’s leaders. Even after retiring from the Senate, Senator Dole was as deeply involved in the support as possible. He was a kind person and was always willing to help. “

Holtzmann said he remembers Dole “as a person with a heart as big as any other arena.”

Holtzmann added: And he always said what was in his heart. He had a great, sometimes novel sense of humor. “

Holtzmann said he felt that Dole was a great president.

“He knew how to build a consensus,” Holtzmann said. “I read today, six months ago, when he was fighting cancer diagnosis, President Biden offered to put together a medical team to help Senator Dole’s treatment. Served together in the Senate for years and did not always agree with the matter, but they remained close friends.

“Senator Dole represented the politeness needed to work across the aisle. Today we could certainly use that kind of leadership.”

Holtzmann’s career

Holtzmann holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Lehigh University. He was Managing Director of Citizens for America, a national advocacy group for former President Ronald Reagan.

In the 1980 presidential election, Reagan appointed Executive Director Holtzmann for his Pennsylvania election. This is the youngest person in history to hold a state-wide election in the US presidential election.

In 1989, Holtzmann was nominated by President Reagan to the Peace Corps National Advisory Council.

Holtzmann and his wife Kristen have four children, three girls and one boy, all under the age of 13.

He recently said his father had asked him to become the CEO of his company, SH Holdings / Jewelcor.

Holtzmann chairs the board of directors of Bank of Kigali, Rwanda’s largest financial institution.

Previously, Holtzmann was Chairman of Meridian Capital HK, a private equity firm that invests in natural resources, real estate, food, agriculture and transportation.

Prior to joining Meridian, Holtzmann was Vice Chairman of Barclays Capital and Vice Chairman of ABN AMRO Bank.

Previously, he lived and worked in Eastern Europe and Russia from September 1989 to October 1998 as co-founder and president of MeesPierson EurAmerica (a company acquired by ABN Amro) and a senior advisor to the Salomon Brothers. rice field.

Holtzmann is widely recognized as a leader in the economic and political development of Eastern Europe, Russia, Africa and Asia.

Since 2012, Holtzmann has been Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Bank of Kigali in Rwanda.

In 2019, Holtzmann was appointed Chairman of CBZ Holdings, Zimbabwe’s largest financial institution.

Please contact Bill O’Ball (570-991-6118) or Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.

“His message was very positive”: Holtzmann from Kingston remembers Bob Dole

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