Friday, October 25, 2002

Senator Paul Wellstone of Minnesota was killed in a plane crash along with his wife and children. Wellstone was up for re-election this year.

Wellstone's race was one of three or four very closely watched races this year that will determine the direction of Congress for the next two years (the Carnahan/Talent race of Missouri, the Lautenberg/Forrester race of New Jersey, the Kirk/Cornyn race in Texas, and the Allard/Strickland race in Colorado being some of the more closely watched). Depending on the laws in Minnesota, it is still questionable as to who can replace Wellstone on the ballot, if Wellstone will be replaced at all, or what could happen if Wellstone is left on the ballot and he wins the election along the lines of Mel Carnahan's posthumous win in 2000 that led to his widow, Jean Carnahan, being named as his successor. Carnahan, by law (whether Missouri state or federal law I am uncertain), faces a mid-term election as she was appointed and not actually voted into office.

If this is a similar situation where as in Missouri where the governor can appoint a replacement should Wellstone be posthumously elected, it will be interesting to see who Governor Jesse Ventura appoints to fill the position -- especially since he is not running for re-election this year. Talk about bizarre -- the potential for a lame duck governor holding the balance of power in the Senate in his hands.

This will be one interesting election day...
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