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Specter’s Top Aide, Air Force Hill Liaison Die

Carey Anne Lackman, chief of staff to Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), died of cancer at her home Wednesday. She was 48.

A longtime Congressional staffer, Lackman had served as the Senator’s top aide since December 2001. She is survived by her husband, mother, three brothers and three sisters.

In a statement released by his office Wednesday evening, Specter said, “Everyone [Lackman] touched admired and respected her. Today’s outpouring of grief showed how much she was loved and how much she will be missed. She was brilliant, energetic and passionate and a real power house.”

Specter went on to note some of Lackman’s achievements, including being named one of Pennsylvania’s most politically powerful women by PoliticsPA in 2003.

After graduating from Radford University in 1977, Lackman began her Capitol Hill career serving as staff assistant and finance director to Keystone State Sen. John Heinz (R). After moving to California to fundraise for various campaigns in 1985, she returned to Washington, D.C., in 1991 to work as finance director and legislative aide for Specter. In 1999 she formed her own political consulting business and ran the National Republican Senatorial Committee operations at the 2000 Republican National Convention before returning to Specter’s office the next year.

No details on Lackman’s funeral service were available by press time.

Air Force Hill Liaison Killed in Car Accident

Friends and co-workers will hold a memorial service Friday to remember Erin Schlather, a Congressional liaison for the Air Force who died in a car accident earlier this month.

Schlather, 26, was killed July 3, when her vehicle veered off Route 89 in her hometown of Ithaca, N.Y., and landed in a ravine.

The memorial service will take place Friday in Arlington, Va.

A Georgetown University law student, Schlather had been working as a Congressional liaison in her role as legislative analyst supporting the deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for science, technology and engineering. Before working for the Air Force, Schlather, a civilian employee, worked as a researcher and program coordinator at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

“She is going to really be missed, she was a close friend who touched a lot of people,” said Moira Whelan, press secretary for the Democratic staff of the House Homeland Security Committee, who knew Schlather during her three years at CSIS. “You didn’t just know her in passing. … She had a lot of potential as a person and in her profession. … She’s going to leave a hole in so many people’s lives.”

In her free time the aspiring lawyer also found time to volunteer as a tutor at Hine Junior High School in her Capitol Hill neighborhood. She moved to the Washington area after graduating from Vassar College, where she was a Mellon Fellow and studied under renowned military historian John Keegan.

Ronda Starnell, a Congressional affairs liaison with the Air Force who worked with Schlather for two years, called her former co-worker “amazing and very bright. … Everyone she came in contact with she touched deeply. There are not enough nice things to say about her.”

John Geis, who works in the CSIS press shop and also knew Schlather, said “she made a lot of friends here, she was that kind of person. Everyone liked her immediately … she had a magnetic personality.”

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