By Jesse Marx
By Chris Parker
By Jake Rossen
By Jesse Marx
By Michelle LeBow
By Alleen Brown
By Maggie LaMaack
By CP Staff
DFL PARTY CHAIR FOR MINNESOTA'S FOURTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT
This summer I was on the bus managing Greg Gray's [state auditor] campaign, and spirits were very high because Greg had just won the DFL endorsement. We were all really on our way up, riding around Minneapolis in the bus. Paul took Greg under his wing, and the passion rubbed off on Greg. Paul loved to help younger candidates.
Mary McEvoy and Sheila and Marcia were always there, and I remember saying to Mary, "Sheila and Marcia look like sisters." And Sheila would laugh and be so gracious--she still had a little Southern accent and she was so charming. Mary has a little Southern accent, too, and the three of them all got along so great. I knew, when I heard, that Mary was in that plane.
Mary was never well known with the public. I loved her. Mary was a rising star to many of us. A lot of us in the [DFL] party saw her becoming a candidate herself someday. She was so committed to public service. All of them in that bus were. That was really, at the end of the day, the true thing about Paul. It's hard to think who's gonna pick up the torch now. Mary could have done it. It's hard to see her not reach the level of public service she could have. (Anderson)
DFL STATE REPRESENTATIVE MINNEAPOLIS (DISTRICT 58B), RECENT CANDIDATE FOR STATE AUDITOR
First off, I can't say Paul Wellstone without saying Sheila. They epitomized the ideal of the political team. You'd never see one without the other. My campaign swing with Paul and Sheila on the green bus in southern Minnesota, after I won the DFL endorsement--that's a time in my life I'll never forget. It's not just the campaign that everybody sees that really counts. It's the time in between. There's a lot of down time. There's time with the family. There's the time on the road, with not much going on. There's the fights, won and lost. Family. That's what was on the bus.
There were people who loved him and people who hated him. But he believed in public service for the greater good. Paul, Sheila, Mary McEvoy, Will, Marcia, Lapic. All of them believed it. In his previous campaign against Boschwitz, the second time, my wife and I were sitting on a porch at friend's house in north Minneapolis. I was still new to politics, and Paul was there, and I said, "Paul, why do you put up with this?" The attacks on him seemed so personal. He got that look in his eye and he started yelling: "I'm not gonna let those folks run Minnesota, and I'm not gonna let them define me. I'm gonna fight him, and I'm gonna fight and fight." That's the legacy of Paul Wellstone. You fight. I can still see the fight in his eyes, even tonight. (Anderson)
ST. PAUL GREYHOUND STATION EMPLOYEE>
I was on the bus coming in to work from Dayton's Bluff, and the lady bus driver put it on over the intercom that she'd got a telephone call telling her that Paul Wellstone had died in a plane crash, and it was like somebody had just dropped a ball of glass right there on the floor. We were at Sixth and Cedar and there were maybe 12 people on the bus at the time, and just about everybody was shocked. It was totally quiet, and then a couple people cried out.
I was totally floored. I just felt really ripped off, you know? I've worked as a voter registration judge, and I've always been involved in a fair amount of political activity. I've been voting since I was old enough to, and I'd have to say that Wellstone was definitely a factor in my interest in politics. I consider myself a pretty independent-minded Democrat, but he's always got my vote.
I really don't think most of the people out there are totally aware how much they lost today. I went up to that little memorial deal at the capitol and I saw so many people just totally numbed out, all these stunned people who looked like they'd just had something ripped out of them and it hadn't really hit 'em yet.
I just always liked the way he stomped around on the campaign trail. He was definitely all about small-guy politics; that was obviously where his mindset was. I liked that a lot about him. I could relate to it. He wasn't a big-business type like Coleman.
That it happened so close to the election is especially vexing. Now any decisions are going to be mired in politics and in all sorts of other weird things. I'm a conspiracy theorist by nature, I'd have to say, and I'd like to think there was nothing fishy going on with this deal. But you know, the guy's been sick, he was sprayed in Colombia, so there's always going to be plenty of room if you want to be suspicious. I don't know what to think, to be honest with you. I really feel so much more than I could ever begin to say right now. (Zellar)