HELP Member's Green Party Opponent Dies of Injuries

An SUV struck Natasha Pettigrew, 30, early Sunday morning, as she rode a bike while training for a triathlon. She died Sept. 21.

A Green Party candidate running this fall against Barbara Mikulski, the third-most-senior Democratic senator on the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, has died of injuries she suffered when she was stuck around 5:30 a.m. Sunday in Largo, Md., by an SUV while riding a bike.

Numerous news organizations, including The Baltimore Sun, reported that Natasha Pettigrew died of her injuries Sept. 21. She was training for a triathlon when she was struck by a driver who later told police she knew she had struck something, perhaps an animal, but was not aware under stopping miles away that a bicycle was lodged under her vehicle.

Pettigrew, 30, was a law student. Her campaign website indicates she filed to run against Mikulski because she became convinced politicians are not listening to Marylanders' concerns. The site's greeting says in part, "it appears that our Federal Government has gotten away from the spirit of Abraham Lincoln's immortal Gettysburg Address. 'Of the people, by the people, for the people' should always describe Government's actions. Over the past few years, the actions of our elected officials do not belie a belief in that great philosophy. I welcome the opportunity to return our great state to those simple but great words. When Americans are opposed to a particular course of action, our elected officials must not benefit themselves or other entities to our detriment. We must hold our elected officials accountable for the decisions they make on our behalf and we must let them know, with our votes, when we have had enough of being ignored."

Polls place Mikulski well ahead of her Republican opponent, Eric Wargotz. The Green Party by law can name a replacement candidate and will choose one early next week, The Sun reported.

The HELP Committee is OSHA's oversight committee in the Senate. A Republican member, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, lost her primary race earlier this year but has begun a write-in campaign to retain her Senate seat. Four other committee members are running for re-election and a fifth, Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., is retiring from the Senate this year.

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