WASHINGTON, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- Former Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Jack Kemp has been diagnosed with cancer, his consulting firm said Wednesday.
"Mr. Kemp and his family are grateful for the thoughts and prayers of friends and appreciate respect for their privacy at this time," read a statement from his spokeswoman Bona Park.
His consulting firm, Kemp Partners in Washington, said doctors still are testing Kemp before developing a treatment regimen, Politico reported.
Kemp had called friends and political associates tell them the news, several GOP insiders said. Kemp, 73, reportedly told friends tests showed he had cancer in multiple locations, the Washington publication said.
"It's not good," said one of Kemp's friends told Politico. "But he's telling people that he's going to deal with it and fight. It's just Jack Kemp being Jack Kemp."
Kemp represented an area near Buffalo, N.Y., in the House of Representatives for 18 years before former President George H.W. Bush appointed him Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Kemp ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination in 1988. In 1996, Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kan., tapped Kemp as his running mate.
Kemp also was an NFL quarterback, starting for the Buffalo Bills and others teams.