As schoolchildren, we’re taught that anyone can be elected to office. That’s turned out to be especially true this year, as four out of a possible six recently deceased candidates won their bids for state or local office.
According to TPM, California state Sen. Jenny Oropeza (D) won re-election with 59% of the vote, despite having died two weeks ago from complications of cancer. A mailer asking voters to support Oropeza, which reportedly did not mention her death, has been challenged by Republicans as an illegal tactic; a special election to actually fill the seat with a pulse-having person will likely be held next month.
Meanwhile, Republican Keith Crass, who died less than a week before the election, won his race to join the Arkansas legislature by capturing 56 percent of the vote; again, a special election will be held to find someone with a body temperature of 98.6 degrees.
Missouri Democrat Keith Austin won the Worth County presiding commissioner’s race over two write-in candidates, despite passing away two weeks ago. The state’s governor will appoint someone capable of independent movement to fill the seat.
Meanwhile, in Mississippi, a chancery judge candidate running unopposed managed to bring in 8,000 votes nearly a month after passing away. The TPM story doesn’t mention what plans are afoot to actually fill the spot; perhaps they’re just hoping nobody will notice how quiet that judge seems.
Two other candidates found that being dead wasn’t going to be a boon to their electoral chances. Jorge Luis Garcia (D) — not to be mistaken for the guy who played Hurley on Lost — finished third in the Arizona Corporation Commission election, while Dennis Glotfelty failed in his posthumous bid to become a commissioner in Maryland.
(Photo: Grub Street Chicago.)