LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — As news spread Sunday morning of the passing of Nancy Reagan, family members and political leaders weighed in on the former first lady’s lasting impact.

Michael Reagan was among the first to memorialize his step-mother on Twitter.

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Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said she was one of his heroes.

Former first lady Barbara Bush said she was sending prayers to the Reagan family.

“Nancy Reagan was totally devoted to President Reagan, and we take comfort that they will be reunited once more. George and I send our prayers and condolences to her family.”

Candidates vying for the Republican Presidential nomination also expressed their condolences.

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Former President George W. Bush said Reagan did important work combating drug abuse and breast cancer.

“Laura and I are saddened by the loss of former first lady Nancy Reagan. Mrs. Reagan was fiercely loyal to her beloved husband, and that devotion was matched only by her devotion to our country. Her influence on the White House was complete and lasting,” he said in a statement.

Former President Jimmy Carter said she was a woman of “strength and wit.”

“President Reagan has been reunited with his wife and partner but America and the Reagan family have lost a woman of grace and strength. I join people from around the country and the world in sending them our best thoughts and prayers during this difficult time,” Carter said in a statement. “A woman of strength and wit, Nancy Reagan’s dedication to our country was matched only by that of her husband. Theirs was one of our nation’s great love stories and a model of shared devotion to our country. America is stronger and better for their service.”

UCLA’s Chancellor Gene Block and Dr. John Mazziotta, Vice Chancellor, UCLA Health Sciences, and CEO of UCLA Health issued the following statement.

“On behalf of the entire UCLA community, we want to express our shared sadness at the news of Nancy Reagan’s passing and to offer our sincere condolences to her children, Patti and Ron, and their extended family. We also want to express our community’s gratitude for Nancy Reagan’s leadership and her quest to make a difference in so many lives.”

They added, “Our former first lady had a dream to build a modern hospital to benefit people fighting disease and to help introduce new cures on behalf of patients everywhere. It was, in part, through her fundraising efforts that we were able to rebuild our hospital after damage caused by the 1994 Northridge earthquake and to transform it into the state-of-the-art facility that it is today. ”

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