Democratic Party official slain

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“This senseless tragedy comes as a shock to all of us,” Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said in a statement issued before Mr. Gwatney was pronounced dead. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to Chairman Gwatney and his family.”

Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, said he was “shocked and saddened” by the tragedy.

Mr. Gwatney, as one of the party’s nearly 800 so-called superdelegates, could have voted as he wished at the convention.

The shooting was the second violent attack in the past nine months in which Democratic Party offices were targeted. In November, a man who said he had a bomb took over Mrs. Clinton’s campaign office in New Hampshire and held five people hostage for more than five hours before surrendering.

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