Indiana Gov. Frank O’Bannon Dies; Lt. Gov. Joe Kernan Sworn In As Governor
Indiana Gov. Frank O'Bannon (D) died on Saturday in Chicago at the age of 73, five days after having a stroke at a trade conference there, the Indianapolis Star reports (Schneider, Indianapolis Star, 9/14). O'Bannon had served as governor since 1997 and was lieutenant governor from 1989 to 1996, according to the Washington Post (Allen, Washington Post, 9/14). The state Supreme Court on Wednesday had transferred power to Lt. Gov. Joe Kernan (D), and Kernan was formally sworn in as the new governor a few hours after O'Bannon's death, according to the AP/Wichita Eagle (Sundheim/Smith, AP/Wichita Eagle, 9/14). Kernan in December 2002 announced that he would not seek the 2004 Democratic nomination for governor. Following O'Bannon's stroke, Kernan said that he does not anticipate changing his mind about running for governor (AP/Los Angeles Times, 9/15).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.