(AP) — A magazine article published by his alma mater says former South Bend Mayor and Indiana Gov. Joe Kernan has lost the ability to speak due to Alzheimer’s disease and is living in a care facility.
Tina Noel, who was Kernan’s gubernatorial press secretary, confirmed the details of the Notre Dame Magazine report to The Associated Press, and said Kernan was diagnosed several years ago.
The Democrat won three elections as South Bend mayor before being elected lieutenant governor with Gov. Frank O’Bannon in 1996. He became governor in 2003 after O’Bannon died from a stroke and remained in office for 16 months before losing to Republican Mitch Daniels in the 2004 election.