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The Nation

April 10, 1988

The front-runner for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in Montana, Secretary of State Jim Waltermire, died in a plane crash as he was returning from a campaign stop, authorities said. Waltermire, 39, who was in a three-way race for the GOP nomination, was flying back from addressing a Lincoln Day dinner in Glasgow in northeastern Montana when the twin-engine Cessna 310 went down in a field east of East Helena, said Chuck Brooke, Waltermire's campaign manager. The pilot, James A. Morris, 64, was killed also. A "severe springtime storm" could have contributed to the crash, said Coroner Mickey Nelson. "It was snow and sleet and fairly high winds," Nelson said. Waltermire was elected secretary of state in 1980 and was reelected in 1984.

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