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Missouri's New Governor Reluctantly Leads

Early Returns
A daily dose of online news
from beyond the Beltway.

__ More Campaign Coverage __
Howard Kurtz's Media Notes
CQ Races to Watch

By Jason Thompson
Washingtonpost.com Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 17, 2000

With the death of Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan (D), the state's second-in-command, Lt. Gov. Roger Wilson (D), now reluctantly takes the job that he refused to seek.

After more than 20 years in politics, including the last eight as lieutenant governor, Wilson surprised Democrats in 1998 by opting out of the 2000 governor's race in order to work in the private sector and spend more time with his family. Wilson will now assume the governor's office until January, when the winner of this year's race between Republican Jim Talent and Democrat Bob Holden is sworn into office.
Missouri's New Governor Had Stepped Away From Politics (Associated Press, 10/17/00)
Roger Wilson Now Has the Job He Did Not Want (Columbian Missourian, 10/17/00)
Wilson to Be New Governor (Springfield News Leader, 10/17/00)
More Coverage: Mo. Governor's Race

Carnahan, who was attempting to unseat Republican Sen. John Ashcroft, was one of Missouri's most active chief executives who believed strongly in using the government's resources to bolster social needs.
Gov. Carnahan's Record in Office (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 10/17/00)
Career in Public Service Was Mel Carnahan's Lifelong Ambition
(Kansas City Star, 10/17/00)
Profile: Gov. Mel Carnahan

More local coverage of Carnahan's death:
Missouri Governor Dies in Plane Crash (The Kansas City Star, 10/17/00)
Carnahan Believed Dead in Plane Crash (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 10/17/00)
Missouri Governor Killed in Plane Crash (Springfield News-Leader, 10/17/00)
Carnahan Killed in Crash (Jefferson City News Tribune, 10/17/00)
Carnahan Dies in Crash (Columbian Missourian, 10/17/00)

As Missouri's political leaders reacted to news of the plane crash, the Ashcroft campaign announced it would immediately cancel campaign appearances and suspend advertising.
Ashcroft Aide Says Campaign Will Be Suspended (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 10/17/00)
More Coverage: Mo. Senate Race

The Carnahan tragedy is not the first time that Missouri has lost a political leader in an air accident. A similar crash in 1976 claimed the lives of two-term Rep. Jerry Litton and his family, who were en route to a victory party to celebrate Litton's win in the race for Missouri's Democratic Senate nomination.
Once Again, Air Crash Tragedy Rocks Missouri Politics
(Jefferson City News Tribune, 10/17/00)
Night Reminds Missourians of Litton Tragedy in 1976
(The Kansas City Star, 10/17/00)
Litton Died in Fiery Crash on Night of Senate Nomination in '76
(St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 10/17/00)

According to the office of Secretary of State Jim Greibing, Missouri law requires that Carnahan's name remain on the ballot for the Senate election because his death occurred "after the fourth Tuesday prior to the election."
Carnahan Will Remain on the Ballot (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 10/17/00)
Carnahan Will Still Appear on November Ballot as Senate Nominee
(Columbian Missourian, 10/17/00)




"I thought somebody ought to be here. It's silly, but I just thought somebody ought to be here. He was the best damn governor in the 25 years I have lived in this state." – Chuck McPheeters, Jefferson City, Mo. resident, holding a lone vigil outside the governor's mansion at 4 a.m. Tuesday.
Citizens Mourn Outside Governor's Mansion
(Columbian Missourian, 10/17/00)



Jason Thompson can be reached at jason.thompson@washingtonpost.com. Early Returns runs Monday-Thursday.


© Copyright 2000 The Washington Post Company


 
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