Ventura offers condolences, orders flags flown at half-staff

Governor Jesse Ventura offered condolences for Paul Wellstone’s family at a press conference Friday afternoon, reserving any decisions he could make to appoint a replacement.

“It’s not the time or the place to be making that decision,” Ventura said. “I will only state this unequivocally and absolutely: I will not appoint myself.”

Ventura said he especially remembers Wellstone’s commitment to veterans and often saw him on Veterans Day.

“We would always go out to the Veterans Hospital. I would be there and I never had any doubt that when I got there Senator Wellstone would be there,” Ventura said. “Having not been a veteran himself I found that highly commendable.”

Ventura said he heard about the crash at his driveway Friday morning.

“It’s one of those things that you really don’t know how to react,” he said. “Paul Wellstone will long be remembered as the great man he was.”

Statement from the Governor

today the State of Minnesota has suffered a deep and penetrating loss. With all of us suffering from the numbing experiences of our nation’s recent tragedies, this loss seems especially cruel.

For those of us who knew and worked with Senator Wellstone, his dedication to his state and nation was profound. His energy, his passion, and his love of people were overwhelming.

For us to lose Paul Wellstone as a leader and a person is devastating, but for us to lose Shelia, Marcia and his dedicated staff members makes our already heavy hearts even sadder.

But we must be strong. And to be strong we only need to remember Paul Wellstone’s energy, Paul Wellstone’s integrity, Paul Wellstone’s absolute love of his country, the people he represented, his friends, and most of all his family.

On behalf of the people of Minnesota, the members of my administration and my family, I want to say that Paul Wellstone will long be remembered as the great man he was. In his honor I have ordered state flags to be flown at half- staff now through the election.

Finally, I had tremendous respect for Paul, and I will forever be indebted to him for his service and his ultimate sacrifice for this great democracy.

Thank you