On November 7, 2000, voters in Missouri elected Mel Carnahan to the U.S. Senate. The unusual part of this is that he died in October in a plane crash.
Was this a vote of sympathy for the former state governor or was it a show of discontent for both candidates?
Current Governor Roger Wilson is expected to appoint Carnahan's widow to the Senate seat. She has said she will accept and carry out her late husband's vision.
The Republican candidate, John Ashcroft, suspended his campaign assuming he would easily win the Senate seat with no opposition. But, it appears the voters did not want him to remain in office. They showed in their vote they would rather have their state represented by a dead man than the current incumbent.
However, the Republican party is trying to overturn this decision, saying that the elected candidate is not an "inhabitant" of the state.
Although Carnahan is the first deceased candidate to win a U.S. Senate seat, there have been several deceased people elected to the U.S. House. This includes Hale Boggs and Nick Begich who were presumed dead in an airplane crash in 1972. Also, in 1962, Clement Miller narrowly beat out Don Claussen a few weeks after Miller died in a plane crash.