Joe Kernan was elected mayor of South Bend, Ind., in 1987, holding the post for nine years. He was elected lieutenant governor in 1997 and was sworn in as governor on Sept. 13, 2003, after his friend and political partner, Gov. Frank O'Bannon died of a stroke.
Two months later Kernan announced he would make a run for governor in 2004. O'Bannon had been barred by term limits from seeking another term in 2004.