Four candidates who died while campaigning won their elections on Tuesday. Two deceased candidates lost.
In California, state Sen. Jenny Oropeza (D) won re-election with 59% of the vote. Oropeza, who was 53, died two weeks ago from complications of cancer. The local Democrats, however, mailed supporters encouraging them to vote for Oropeza anyway.“The Republicans are trying to take unfair advantage of Jenny’s tragedy,” said the mailer which, according to CNN, did not mention her death. “I am asking you to vote for Jenny Oropeza. If a Special Election is called in a few months, you’ll have the chance to thoughtfully elect your Senator for a new four-year term.”
Republicans filed a complaint, calling the tactic illegal. A special election will likely be held in December.
As with the other deceased candidates who appeared on ballots throughout the country, Oropeza’s death occurred too close to the election for her name to be removed.
Keith Crass, a Republican candidate for the Arkansas legislature, died less than a week before the election and won with 56% of the vote. A special election will be held.
In Missouri, Democrat Keith Austin won 345 votes in the Worth County presiding commissioner’s race, beating two write-in candidates two weeks after passing away. The governor will appoint someone to fill the seat.
And in Mississippi, a chancery judge candidate running unopposed garnered 8,000 votes nearly a month after his demise.
Two other deceased candidates lost their elections: Jorge Luis Garcia (D) got 17% of the vote, coming in third in the Arizona Corporation Commission election, and Dennis Glotfelty lost a commissioners’ race in Maryland.