Herald JournalHerald and Journal, Oct. 28, 2002

Local reactions to death of Wellstone

By Ryan Gueningsman

When Senator Paul Wellstone, his wife and daughter, and five other people were killed in a plane crash Friday morning near Eveleth, state representative Tony Kielkucki was driving in his vehicle.

"Oh my God," he said upon learning of Wellstone's death. "This is a tragedy ­ and a real shock.

"Any time a family dies in a plane crash, it's not a good thing."

This is a bad thing for the election, in which he is up against Norm Coleman, Kielkucki said.

"Senator Wellstone stood by his convictions and this will be a terrible blow for the DFL, and for those who's causes he has supported.

"We as the state of Minnesota should take some time to think of, and pray for, his family," Kielkucki said.

State Senator Steve Dille also had a similar reaction, saddened about Wellstone's death.

"I'm very sad about it," Dille said. "I respected him, even if I disagreed with him."

In fact, Dille canceled his election advertisements with Litchfield and Hutchinson radio stations upon hearing the news, "Out of respect for Wellstone."

Republican governor candidate Tim Pawlenty was scheduled to visit Hutchinson and Litchfield, and canceled these engagements upon hearing the news.

"My deepest and most heartfelt sympathies go out to the Wellstone family, friends, and supporters," Pawlenty said in a press release.


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