Former U.S. Senator Who Controversially Replaced Husband Passes Away at Age 90

Former Democrat Sen. Jean Carnahan of Missouri died Tuesday at the age of 90, according to The Associated Press.

Carnahan was appointed to replace her husband, Democratic Gov. Mel Carnahan of Missouri, who defeated Republican Sen. John Ashcroft of Missouri, after he died in an October 2000 plane crash. She passed away after a brief illness, the AP reported.

“Mom passed peacefully after a long and rich life. She was a fearless trailblazer. She was brilliant, creative, compassionate and dedicated to her family and her fellow Missourians,” a statement from her family said.

Carnahan served until November 2002, when former Republican Rep. James Talent of Missouri won a special election to fill the rest of Carnahan’s term, according to Ballotpedia.

“Teresa and I are saddened to hear of the passing of Jean Carnahan,” Republican Gov. Mike Parson of Missouri posted on X. “A former U.S. Senator and Missouri First Lady, Jean Carnahan will be remembered for her deep, abundant love for the people of this great state.”

“We know Jean’s legacy lives on with her family and with each and every Missourian whose life was touched by her time in public service,” Parson said in a follow-up post.

“Rest in peace.”

By Melinda Davies
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