Paul Wellstone Quotes

Paul Wellstone

Paul David Wellstone (July 21, 1944 – October 25, 2002) was an American academic, author, and politician who represented Minnesota in the United States Senate from 1991 until he was killed in a plane crash near Eveleth, Minnesota, in 2002. A member of the Democratic Party (DFL), Wellstone was a leader of the populist and progressive wings of the party. Born in Washington, D.C., Wellstone grew up in Northern Virginia. He went on to graduate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelor's of Arts and a doctorate in political science. In 1969, Wellstone was hired as a professor at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, where he taught until his election to the Senate in 1990. In addition, he also worked as a local activist and community organizer in rural Rice County. In 1982, he made his first bid for political office in that year's Minnesota State Auditor race. His campaign was unsuccessful, losing to Republican incumbent Arne Carlson. Wellstone challenged two-term Republican incumbent Rudy Boschwitz in the 1990 United States Senate election. Wellstone was widely seen as an underdog and was significantly outspent by Boschwitz. Using his progressive populism and grassroots campaigning tactics, such as his iconic green school bus, Wellstone won in an upset victory that gained him national attention. He was the only challenger in the country that year to defeat an incumbent senator. In his 1996 reelection campaign, he defeated Boschwitz in a rematch. He won the elections with 50.4% and 50.3% of the vote, respectively. While in the U.S. Senate, Wellstone was a supporter of environmental protection, labor groups, and health care reform. He notably authored the "Wellstone Amendment" for the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002. However, his efforts toward campaign finance reform were overturned in 2010 by the U.S. Supreme Court in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. Wellstone was a candidate for reelection to the Senate in 2002 and was facing former Saint Paul mayor Norm Coleman in a competitive race when, a few weeks before the election, Wellstone died in a plane crash near Eveleth, Minnesota. His wife, Sheila, and daughter, Marcia, also died on board. After his sudden death, Wellstone was replaced on the ballot by former Vice President Walter Mondale, who lost by a slim margin to Coleman. Wellstone's sons, David and Mark, were not on the flight, and until 2018 co-chaired the Wellstone Action nonprofit organization (now named Re:Power) in honor of their parents.

Source: Wikipedia


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