Anti-war senator Wellstone dies in plane crash Friday .
Wellstone, a 58-year-old former college professor and one of the foremost liberals on Capitol Hill, was flying to Virginia, Minn., to attend the funeral of Martin Rukavina, father of Minnesota state Sen. Tom Rukavina.
Wellstone was with his wife, Sheila, who was at his side every step of his political career. His daughter, Marcia, also died in the crash. Wellstone also had two sons, David, 37, and Mark, 30, and six grandchildren.
Also killed in the crash were Wellstone campaign aides Will McLaughlin, Tom Lapic and Mary McEvoy and pilots Richard Conry and Michael Guess.
Wellstone's death threw the battle for the Senate into uncharted territory. The crash came just 11 days before the election.
Before Friday, Democrats held control by a single seat. Wellstone was up against Republican Norm Coleman, a former mayor of St. Paul and President Bush's choice to challenge the two-term incumbent. Coleman, who was scheduled to debate Wellstone on Friday night, immediately suspended campaign activities.
Wellstone cast his vote earlier this month against legislation to authorize the use of force in Iraq -- the only Democrat facing a tough re-election to go against Bush on the issue.
Mr Bush personally intervened to anoint Wellstone's challenger, Norm Coleman, and has visited the state three times to campaign on his behalf.
From his ranch in Crawford, Texas, the president offered "prayers and heartfelt sympathy" to the Wellstone family and the families of the other people who died in the crash.
President Bush called Wellstone "a man of deep convictions. "He was a plainspoken fellow who did his best for his state and for his country," the president said. "May the good Lord bless those who grieve."
Wellstone stunned the political establishment by upsetting Republican Sen. Rudy Boschwitz in 1990. Afterward, left-leaning Mother Jones magazine called him "the first 1960s radical elected to the U.S. Senate."
Two years ago, Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan , his son and an aide were killed in a crash three weeks before Election Day as he campaigned for the Senate. His name remained on the ballot and he beat Republican Sen. John Ashcroft . (compiled from other articles)