Dead candidate still in running

By SCOTT CHARTON

Associated Press

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Sue Weber supported Mel Carnahan for Senate. She still does, even after his death in a plane crash nearly two weeks ago.

"He was a great man," said Weber, whose commitment to vote for the late Democratic governor drew a smile and shake of the head Friday from Larry Weber, her husband of 35 years.

"Why people would go ahead and vote for someone deceased is beyond me," said her husband, who has been backing Carnahan’s opponent all along.

The candidate is dead, but the Carnahan campaign is still very much alive.

Not only is his name still on the Nov. 7 ballot — it was too late to remove it — but polls taken after his burial show Carnahan still locked in a too-close-to-call race against Republican Sen. John Ashcroft.

Nationally, at least two people have won election to the House posthumously, but it appears no senator has ever been elected after death.

Carnahan, 66, his 44-year-old son Roger and a campaign adviser died in the Oct. 16 crash of a small plane Roger Carnahan was flying to a campaign rally.

Since then, Missouri Democrats have issued bumper stickers and buttons with the slogan "Still for Mel!" and put out the word that a vote for Carnahan is a way to honor the memory of the popular governor and is tantamount to putting his widow, Jean, in the Senate.

Jean Carnahan, 66, who has never run for office, said she will talk to her family this weekend and announce Monday — eight days before the election — whether she will accept Gov. Roger Wilson’s offer to appoint her to the Senate if her late husband outpolls Ashcroft.

"I still believe deeply in the cause for which my husband lived and died," she said. "These shared values are a permanent part of my being."

Jean Carnahan would serve until the next general election in November 2002.

Many voters weren’t waiting for her decision to declare their loyalty to her husband of 46 years.

"Any Democrat who fills the seat is better," said John Rogers, 34, a lawyer in St. Louis.

A poll published Friday in The Kansas City Star showed Carnahan still in a tie with Ashcroft. The Mason-Dixon poll taken on Monday and Tuesday — following Carnahan’s funeral — gave the men 46 percent each, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

The pollsters also explained to voters Wilson’s plan to appoint Carnahan’s widow. With the additional information, Carnahan’s support rose to 47 percent, with Ashcroft at 45 percent.

During a campaign stop in Springfield, Ashcroft wouldn’t discuss the poll. A former two-term governor, Ashcroft said, "I’m going to work real hard to talk to people about the issues and the experience I have. I believe the people will respond positively."

Copyright ©2000 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

A big decision for Boeing’s next CEO: Is it time for a new plane?

As Boeing faces increased competition from Airbus, the company is expected to appoint a new CEO by the end of the year.

A Mukilteo Speedway sign hangs at an intersection along the road in Mukilteo. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Mukilteo Speedway name change is off to a bumpy start

The city’s initial crack at renaming the main drag got over 1,500 responses. Most want to keep the name.

Two workers walk past a train following a press event at the Lynnwood City Center Link Station on Friday, June 7, 2024, in Lynnwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Trains up and running on Lynnwood Link — but no passengers quite yet

Officials held an event at the Lynnwood station announcing the start of “pre-revenue” service. Passengers still have to wait till August.

Nedra Vranish, left, and Karen Thordarson, right browse colorful glass flowers at Fuse4U during Sorticulture on Friday, June 7, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
A promenade through Everett’s popular Sorticulture garden festival

Check out a gallery of the festival’s first day.

Left to right, Everett Pride board members Ashley Turner, Bryce Laake, and Kevin Daniels pose for a photo at South Fork Bakery in Everett, Washington on Sunday, May 26, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Second Everett Pride aims for even bigger rainbow of festivities

Organizers estimated about 3,000 people attended the first block party in Everett. This year, they’re aiming for 10,000.

Leslie Davis, left, and Lyndsay Lamb, twin sister stars of HGTV's "Unsellable Houses" and 2004 Snohomish High School graduates, donated a private design session to the school's auction fundraiser for their 20-year reunion. (Photo provided)
Got $2,000? Bid on face time with HGTV’s ‘Unsellable Houses’ twins

The sisters are offering up themselves in a fundraiser for their Class of 2004 Snohomish High 20-year reunion.

Everett
Fake gun sends Cascade High School into lockdown

Police detained a suspect with a fake weapon around 12:30 p.m. The lockout was lifted before 1:30 p.m.

The I-5, Highway 529 and the BNSF railroad bridges cross over Union Slough as the main roadways for north and southbound traffic between Everett and Marysville. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Highway 529 squeeze starts now between Everett, Marysville

Following a full closure for a night, starting late Sunday, Highway 529 will slim down to two lanes for months near the Snohomish River Bridge.

Rose Freeman (center) and Anastasia Allison of The Musical Mountaineers play atop Sauk Mountain near Concrete in October 2017. (Ian Terry / The Herald)
Musical Mountaineers’ sunset serenade to launch Adopt a Stream campaign

The nonprofit aims to transform into an “accessible model of sustainability,” with solar panels, electric vehicles and more.

A Marysville firefighter sprays water on a smoking rail car at the intersection of 116th Street NE and State Avenue around 8 a.m. Thursday, June 13, 2024, in Marysville, Washington. (Mike Henneke / The Herald)
Rail car catches fire, blocks traffic in Marysville

Around 7:20 a.m. Thursday, firefighters responded to reports of smoke coming from a rail car near 172th Street NE, officials said.

Firefighters transported two people to hospitals while extinguishing an apartment fire near Lake Ballinger in Edmonds Wednesday.
2 injured in Edmonds apartment fire

At least nine people were displaced by the fire on 236th Street SW, officials said. Nearly 50 firefighters responded.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife staff place a radio collar on a Grizzly Bear in the Cabinet-Yaak ecosystem. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife / Wayne Kasworm)
For grizzly bears coming to Cascades, radio collars will keep close tabs

Tracking an apex predator is tricky. GPS collars play a central role in a controversial plan to repopulate grizzlies in Washington’s wilderness.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.