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|51st Governor of Missouri|
January 11, 1993 –October 16, 2000
|Lieutenant||Roger B. Wilson|
|Preceded by||John Ashcroft|
|Succeeded by||Roger B. Wilson|
|43rd Lieutenant Governor of Missouri|
January 9, 1989 –January 11, 1993
|Preceded by||Harriett Woods|
|Succeeded by||Roger B. Wilson|
|40th State Treasurer of Missouri|
January 12, 1981 –January 14, 1985
|Preceded by||Jim Spainhower|
|Succeeded by||Wendell Bailey|
Melvin Eugene Carnahan
February 11, 1934
Birch Tree, Missouri, U.S.
|Died||October 16, 2000 66) (aged|
near Hillsboro, Missouri, U.S.
Jean Carpenter (m. 1954)
|Children||4, including Russ, Robin, and Tom|
|Father||A. S. J. Carnahan|
|Education|| George Washington University (BA)|
University of Missouri (JD)
|Unit||Air Force Office of Special Investigations|
Melvin Eugene Carnahan (February 11, 1934 – October 16, 2000) was an American lawyer and politician who served as the 51st Governor of Missouri from 1993 until his death in a plane crash in 2000. A Democrat, he was elected posthumously to the U.S. Senate; his widow held his seat for two years.
The Democratic Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with its rival, the Republican Party. Tracing its heritage back to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison's Democratic-Republican Party, the modern-day Democratic Party was founded around 1828 by supporters of Andrew Jackson, making it the world's oldest active political party.
The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress, which along with the United States House of Representatives—the lower chamber—comprises the legislature of the United States. The Senate chamber is located in the north wing of the Capitol Building, in Washington, D.C.
Carnahan was born in Birch Tree, Missouri, and grew up on a small farm near Ellsinore, Missouri, with his only sibling, Robert "Bob" Carnahan.He was the son of Kathel (Schupp) and A. S. J. Carnahan, the superintendent of Ellsinore schools who, in 1944, was elected to the United States House of Representatives, serving from 1945-1947 and 1949-1961.
Birch Tree is a city in Shannon County, Missouri, United States. The population was 679 at the 2010 census.
Ellsinore, founded in 1888, is a town located in a long valley just off Highway 60 in the eastern end of Carter County, Missouri, USA. The 2010 U.S. Census shows Ellsinore with a population of 446, an increase of 22.87 percent from its 2000 population of 363.
Albert Sidney Johnson Carnahan was an American diplomat and politician from Southeast Missouri. He began his career as a teacher and school administrator. He then served as a member of the United States House of Representatives for southeastern Missouri for 14 years, becoming the first member of the prominent Carnahan Family to serve in public office.
Carnahan moved with his family to Washington, D.C. in 1945 and returned in 1949, the year he met his future wife Jean. There he graduated from Anacostia High School in 1952 and earned a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Business Administration from George Washington University in 1954.He married Jean Anne Carpenter that same year and also entered the United States Air Force during the Korean War and served as a special agent for the Office of Special Investigation rising to the rank of First Lieutenant. In 1956, he and his wife moved back to his home state of Missouri. He received a Juris Doctor (J.D.) from the University of Missouri School of Law in Columbia, Missouri, in 1959.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington or D.C., is the capital of the United States. Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent country, Washington was named after George Washington, the first president of the United States and a Founding Father. As the seat of the United States federal government and several international organizations, Washington is an important world political capital. The city is also one of the most visited cities in the world, with more than 20 million tourists annually.
A Bachelor of Arts is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, sciences, or both. Bachelor of Arts programs generally take three to four years depending on the country, institution, and specific specializations, majors, or minors. The word baccalaureus should not be confused with baccalaureatus, which refers to the one- to two-year postgraduate Bachelor of Arts with Honors degree in some countries.
The George Washington University is a private research university in Washington, D.C. It was chartered in 1821 by an act of the United States Congress.
Carnahan's political career started in 1960 when he was elected to serve as a municipal judge in Rolla. Two years later he was elected as a member of the Missouri House of Representatives representing the Rolla area.He remained in the Missouri house until 1966, winning the position of majority floor leader in his second term. In 1966, he lost an election for the state senate and started practicing law.
The Missouri House of Representatives is the lower chamber of the Missouri General Assembly. It has 163 members, representing districts with an average size of 37,000 residents. House members are elected for two-year terms during general elections held in even-numbered years.
Rolla is a city in and the county seat of Phelps County, Missouri, United States. The population in the 2010 United States Census was 19,559. Rolla is located approximately midway between St. Louis and Springfield along I-44. The Rolla, Mo Micropolitan Statistical area consists of Phelps County, Missouri.
In 1980, Carnahan was elected Missouri State Treasurer. He served in that post from 1981 to 1985. In 1984 he was an unsuccessful candidate for Governor of Missouri, losing the Democratic primary election to then-Lieutenant Governor Kenneth Rothman, who lost the general election that year to state Attorney General John Ashcroft.
The State Treasurer of Missouri is a statewide elected official responsible for serving as Missouri's chief financial officer. The current state treasurer is Scott Fitzpatrick, who was appointed in January 2019 following the resignation of the previous incumbent Eric Schmitt in order to accept appointment as Attorney General of Missouri. Treasurers are limited to two terms in office. Along with the Governor, these are the only statewide elected offices in Missouri that are subject to term limits. Schmitt was elected as State Treasurer after Clint Zweifel was ineligible to seek reelection as state treasurer in the 2016 elections, and announced that he would not run for any other political office that year.
A primary election is the process by which voters, either the general public or members of a political party, can indicate their preference for a candidate in an upcoming general election or by-election, thus narrowing the field of candidates.
John David Ashcroft is an American lawyer and former politician who served as the 79th U.S. Attorney General (2001–2005), in the George W. Bush Administration. He later founded The Ashcroft Group, a Washington D.C. lobbying firm.
In 1988 he was elected Lieutenant Governor of Missouri. In 1992, he faced Mayor of St. Louis Vincent C. Schoemehl in the Democratic primary for governor. He won the Democratic nomination by a wide margin and went on to easily defeat Republican state Attorney General William L. Webster in the general election. He was elected Governor of Missouri on November 3, 1992, and reelected for a second term on November 5, 1996, defeating Republican State Auditor of Missouri Margaret Kelly.
The Mayor of the City of St. Louis is the chief executive officer of St. Louis' city government. The mayor has a duty to enforce city ordinances and the power to either approve or veto city ordinances passed by the board of aldermen.
Vincent C. Schoemehl, Jr. was the 42nd mayor of St. Louis, Missouri, serving three terms from 1981 to 1993. At the time of his first election, he was one of the City's youngest mayors. In 1992, Schoemehl was defeated in the Democratic primary by lieutenant governor Mel Carnahan in a bid to become governor of Missouri.
William Lawrence Webster is an American former politician, and convicted felon, from Missouri. He served in the Missouri House of Representatives and as the Attorney General of Missouri from 1985 to 1993. After failing to win election as governor in 1992, Webster pleaded guilty to felony embezzlement.
In 2000, Carnahan ran in the election against incumbent Republican John Ashcroft to become a United States Senator. It was a heated and intense campaign, in which Carnahan traveled all over Missouri to garner support in what was a very close race. However, early in the evening of October 16, the night before a presidential debate held at Washington University in St. Louis just three weeks before the election, the twin-engine Cessna airplane he was flying on, which was piloted by his son Randy, lost control in rainy and foggy conditions and crashed on a forested hillside near Goldman, Missouri, only about 35 miles (56 km) south of St. Louis. All three on board the plane (Mel and Randy Carnahan and Chris Sifford, the governor's campaign advisor and former chief of staff) were killed in the crash.
Lieutenant Governor Roger B. Wilson ascended to the governorship and served out the balance of Carnahan's term, which ended in January 2001. Because Missouri election law would not allow Carnahan's name to be removed from the November 7, 2000, ballot, the campaign chose Carnahan's widow, Jean Carnahan, to unofficially become the new Democratic candidate. Wilson promised to appoint her to the seat, if it became vacant as a result of Mel Carnahan's win in the election. Carnahan's campaign continued using the slogan "I'm Still with Mel." A Senate first, Carnahan posthumously won, by a 2% margin. Jean Carnahan was then appointed to the Senate and served until November 2002, when she was defeated by a 1% margin in a special election by Republican James Talent.
A high school, Carnahan High School of the Future, was named after him in 2003.
Carnahan and his family were active members of the First Baptist Church of Rolla, where he served as an ordained deacon and member of the building committee. In 1984, he risked his political career by taking a public stand against Missouri ballot issues, Amendments 5 and 7, which would legalize parimutuel betting and create a state lottery. He was one of only a handful of state elected officials to take such a position; however, both amendments passed.
Carnahan married Jean Carpenter in Washington, D.C. on June 12, 1954. They had four children, all lawyers. Russ Carnahan, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Missouri's 3rd District (2005–2013); Tom Carnahan, founder of Wind Capital Group, which builds wind farms; Robin Carnahan, former Missouri Secretary of State (2005–2013); and Roger "Randy" Carnahan, who piloted the plane and perished in the same crash that killed his father.
Jean Anne Carpenter Carnahan is an American politician and writer who was the First Lady of Missouri from 1993 to 2000, and served as the state's junior United States Senator from 2001 to 2002. A Democrat, she was appointed to fill the Senate seat of her husband Mel Carnahan, who had been posthumously elected, becoming the first woman to represent Missouri in the U.S. Senate.
Roger B. Wilson is a former American politician who briefly served as the 52nd Governor of Missouri from October 16, 2000 to January 8, 2001. In 2012 he pleaded guilty to a federal charge of money laundering, and was sentenced to two years probation. Wilson is a member of the Democratic Party.
The 2002 United States Senate elections featured a series of fiercely contested elections that resulted in a victory for the Republican Party, which gained two seats and thus a narrow majority from the Democratic Party in the United States Senate. The Senate seats up for election, known as "class 2" Senate seats, were last up for regular election in 1996. The election was held on November 5, 2002, almost fourteen months after the September 11, 2001 attacks.
The 2000 United States Senate elections, was held on November 7, 2000. The elections coincided with other federal and state elections, including the presidential election which was won by Republican George W. Bush. It featured a number of fiercely contested elections that resulted in a victory for the Democratic Party, which gained a net total of four seats from the Republican Party. This election marked the first election year since 1988 where Democrats made net gains in the Senate.
John Russell Carnahan is an American politician from the state of Missouri. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as the U.S. Representative for Missouri's 3rd congressional district from 2005 to 2013.
Robin Colleen Carnahan is an American businesswoman and lawyer and former Missouri Secretary of State. She is the daughter of Missouri politicians Mel and Jean Carnahan. In 2010 she was the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate to replace retiring Republican Senator Kit Bond. She was then a Senior Advisor at the global strategy firm Albright Stonebridge Group where she advised companies on strategic investment and growth opportunities. Additionally, she serves as an advisor to a number of civic technology companies including LaunchCode and frequently speaks on issues relating to government innovation through smarter use of technology. In 2013, Carnahan was named a Fellow at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics. In February 2016, she joined the General Services Administration as the Director of the State and Local practice at 18F.
The 2006 United States Senate election in Missouri was held November 7, 2006, to decide who would serve as senator for Missouri between January 3, 2007, and January 3, 2013. The incumbent was Republican Jim Talent. Talent was elected in a special election in 2002 when he narrowly defeated incumbent Democrat Jean Carnahan. Carnahan had been appointed to the Senate seat following the posthumous election of her husband Mel Carnahan, who had died in a plane crash shortly before the 2000 election. Talent's Democratic opponent was Missouri State Auditor Claire McCaskill. Early on the morning of November 8, Talent conceded defeat to McCaskill, having faced considerable political headwinds. Talent lost the election with 47% of the vote, to 50% of the vote for McCaskill.
James Matthes Talent is an American politician and former U.S. Senator from Missouri. He is a Republican and resided in the St. Louis area while serving in elected office. He identifies with the conservative wing of the Republican party, being outspoken on judicial appointments, abortion, flag burning, and defense issues.
"Don't let the fire go out" is a phrase used during the 2000 election in a campaign to elect Mel Carnahan to the United States Senate after his death, and Don't Let the Fire Go Out is a book written by his widow, US Senator Jean Carnahan, on the same subject.
The 2000 United States Senate election in Missouri was held on November 7, 2000, to select the next U.S. Senator from Missouri. Incumbent Republican Senator John Ashcroft ran for a second term, but lost to Democratic Governor Mel Carnahan, despite Carnahan's death three weeks before election day.
The 2002 United States Special Senate election in Missouri was held on November 5, 2002 to decide who would serve the rest of Democrat Mel Carnahan's term, after he died while campaigning and posthumously won the 2000 election. The winner would serve four more years until the next election in 2006. Missouri Governor Roger Wilson appointed Carnahan's wife Jean, also a Democrat, to serve temporarily. She then decided to run to serve the remainder of the term, but was narrowly defeated by Republican nominee Jim Talent. Technically, the race flipped control of the Senate from Democrats to Republicans, but the Senate had adjourned before Talent could take office and so no change in leadership occurred until the 108th Congress opened session in January 2003.
The following table indicates the party of elected officials in the U.S. state of Missouri:
The Pennsylvania lieutenant gubernatorial election of 2010 was held on November 2, 2010. The winning candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor will serve a four-year term from 2011 to 2015. In Pennsylvania, the Lieutenant Governor is elected on the same ticket as the Governor, so the only campaign for this office was the primary election. As a result of Tom Corbett's election to the position of governor, Jim Cawley became the new Lieutenant Governor.
The 2012 United States House of Representatives elections in Missouri were held on Tuesday, November 6, 2012 and elected the eight U.S. Representatives from the state of Missouri, a loss of one seat following the 2010 United States Census. The elections coincided with the elections of other federal and state offices, including a quadrennial presidential election and an election to the U.S. Senate.
The Missouri gubernatorial election of 1996 was Missouri's 49th gubernatorial election. The election was held on November 5, 1996 and resulted in a victory for the Democratic nominee, incumbent Governor Mel Carnahan, over the Republican candidate, State Auditor Margaret B. Kelly, and Libertarian J. Mark Oglesby.
Scott Sifton is an American attorney who serves as a Democratic member of the Missouri Senate, representing the first district. Sifton took office in 2013 after defeating incumbent Republican Senator Jim Lembke in a close election the previous year. Sifton told the Webster-Kirkwood Times, he plans to run for governor.
The 2016 Missouri gubernatorial election was held on November 8, 2016, to elect the Lieutenant Governor of Missouri, concurrently with the 2016 U.S. presidential election, as well as elections to the United States Senate and elections to the United States House of Representatives and various state and local elections.
| Treasurer of Missouri |
| Lieutenant Governor of Missouri |
Roger B. Wilson
| Governor of Missouri |
|Party political offices|
Betty Cooper Hearnes
| Democratic nominee for Governor of Missouri |
| Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from Missouri |
| Chair of the Democratic Governors Association |