David Andahl, a lawmaker who died from COVID-19 complications in October, has been declared winner of the North Dakota legislative seat in the US.
According to Politico.com, the Republican candidate won a seat in the state legislature — nearly a month after his death.
Andahl was 55 when he died on October 5, after winning a heated primary with an incumbent committee chairman.
Washington Post said North Dakota election authorities initially had no precedent on how to address the death of a candidate so close to election and the state’s attorney general later issued an opinion on how to proceed.
He reportedly said should Andahl win, the local Republican Party would be responsible for filling the vacant seat until a special election.
A cattle rancher and land developer, Andahl had spent 16 years serving on the zoning and planning commission in Burleigh County, including eight years as its chair, according to the Bismarck Tribune.
According to his obituary, Andahl, who also worked a racecar driver and instructor, was so passionate about his home state that he was sometimes called “Dakota Dave.”
The district north of Bismarck has two house seats, and Andahl teamed up with another candidate, Dave Nehring, to earn endorsements.
During the campaign, he was said to have earned the backing of two of the state’s most influential Republicans, Doug Burgum, the governor, and Kevin Cramer, a Senator.
Since 2000, at least six dead candidates have won elections at nearly every level of government, from mayoral races in small-town Tennessee to a US senate seat, according to Washington Post.
Joe Biden, presidential candidate of the Democratic Party, is leading President Donald Trump in the Electoral College votes declared so far.
While Biden has 224 votes, Trump has 213. A candidate needs at least 270 votes to win the election.
The election results are likely to keep coming till Friday.