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Gov. Mel Carnahan

NPR's David Welna reports on the tragic death of Missouri Governor Mel Carnahan, the Democratic nominee running in a hotly-contested Senate seat against incumbent Republican John Ashcroft, who perished in a plane crash, along with his son and a campaign adviser. Carnahan's death robs the Democrats of one of their best chances at picking up a Senate seat. But more importantly, it robs a state of a very popular public official, and it darkens the mood as the presidential candidates hold their final debate tonight in St. Louis.

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