NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Harlan Mathews, who was appointed to the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Al Gore after he was elected vice president in 1992, has died. He was 87.
A family spokesman said Mathews died in Nashville Friday with his wife, Pat, by his side. He had recently been diagnosed with a brain tumor.
Mathews joined Tennessee government in 1950 as a member of the state budget staff and quickly became a top aide to Govs. Frank Clement and Buford Ellington. The Legislature elected him treasurer in 1974, a position he held until resigning to run Democrat Ned McWherter’s successful gubernatorial campaign in 1986.
McWherter appointed Mathews as a caretaker to the Senate seat until the 1994 election. Republican Fred Thompson defeated Democrat Jim Cooper to serve out the remainder of the term.
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