Libertarian Senate Hopeful in Iowa Killed in Plane Crash

Doug Butzier crashes his small plane near airport
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 14, 2014 5:39 PM CDT
Libertarian Senate Hopeful in Iowa Killed in Plane Crash
A file photo of Dr. Douglas Butzier.   (AP Photo/Mercy Medical Center)

The Libertarian candidate in Iowa's closely watched Senate race next month is dead after he crashed his single-engine plane near an airport in Dubuque last night, reports the Des Moines Register. Doug Butzier, a 59-year-old emergency room physician, was killed as he came in for a second attempt to land about 11pm. Butzier missed his first approach to the runway and went down on his second pass, reports KCRG. He was the sole occupant of the Piper PA-46, and it's not clear whether the area's heavy rain played a role in the crash.

Butzier had stood no real chance of winning the election—he was polling at about 2%, reports CNN—but the high-profile race had given him a chance to spread his Libertarian message. Democratic candidate Bruce Braley and Republican candidate Joni Ernst each released statements praising Butzier and offering condolences to his wife and two sons. Braley and Ernst are vying to replace the retiring Tom Harkin, a Democrat, and they were most recently in a statistical dead heat, reports the National Journal. Butzier's name will remain on the ballot. (More Iowa stories.)

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