Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-Minn.), one of the foremost liberals in Congress, was killed in a plane crash in northern Minnesota today along with seven others, campaign officials said. Wellstone, his wife, Sheila, and daughter Marcia were on the plane, according to an aide who was at the crash site. All passengers were killed. The plane went down in freezing rain and light snow near the Eveleth-Virginia Municipal Airport, about 175 miles north of Minneapolis. Wellstone, 58, was on his way to the funeral of the father of a state lawmaker. He had been locked in a tight race with Republican challenger Norm Coleman, a former mayor of St. Paul, and in political terms, his death throws the battle for control of the Senate into uncharted territory. Wellstone championed expanded healthcare coverage and environmental concerns. He was a member of the Senate's Veteran's Affairs and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committees. -- by the Associated Press
Healthcare advocate Wellstone dies in plane crash
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