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January 16, 2012 05:57 PM

Long-Time Friend Remembers Janklow

Sioux Falls, SD

A long-time friend of Bill Janklow says the former governor had a knack for bringing people together.

"He would bring people together, Democrats and Republicans, and say, 'We got a problem and it isn't a partisan problem. It's a South Dakota problem, so now let's go to work and solve it,'" friend Dave Volk said.

Volk says Janklow wasn't only a longtime colleague, but also a close friend. And he remembers Janklow as a man with a huge heart and a passion for helping people.

"He did not like people to be mad at him. He didn't go out of his way to have people mad at him. He just had a personality that it sometimes happened," Volk said.

Volk says Janklow saw government as the force responsible for improving the lives of South Dakotans, and his ability to bring Democrats and Republicans together for the common good was one of his greatest talents.

"He and Tom Daschle worked very closely together on a lot of things, but philosophically, they had some very big differences. But he never let those things get in the way of solving problems," Volk said.  "That's really the legacy.  This incredible ability to get people to work together. I love it that Tom Daschle is going to give his eulogy. I said, 'You know, that is so Bill Janklow right to the end.’ I just don't think life will be as exciting without him."

Volk and Janklow became friends while running for office in 1974. Janklow was running for attorney general and Volk for state treasurer.
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