US politician who died of Covid-19 wins North Dakota seat

WASHINGTON (AFP) – A Republican candidate was elected to the state legislature in North Dakota, despite the fact that he had died a month earlier of coronavirus, officials said on Wednesday (Nov 4).

David Andahl, a farmer and businessman, died on Oct 5 at the age of 55 “after a short battle with Covid-19”, his family said on the Facebook page of his campaign for the local assembly.

“He has been a public servant for many years and was looking forward to the opportunity to serve in the state legislature,” the family statement said.

That ambition was fulfilled posthumously when the former race car driver was elected to North Dakota’s 8th congressional district with a third of the votes, winning the last race of his life.

Faced with a deceased elected official, the attorney general of the rural northern state said the situation would be treated in the same way as a legislator stepping down or retiring, and that the local Republican party would name a replacement.

It was not the first time in recent US history that a dead candidate has won election. In 2018, well known brothel owner Dennis Hof was elected to the Nevada assembly on the Republican ticket a few weeks after his death.

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