Dead candidate Jenny Oropeza handily wins re-election to state senate in California
“Jenny Oropeza died last month, but her political career lives on.
“The deceased California Democrat won re-election to the State Senate by a comfortable margin, besting Republican challenger John Stammreich, 58% to 36%.
“Oropeza passed away on October 20, too late to replace her on the ballot for the state’s 28th Senate district, which includes parts of Long Beach, Los Angeles and the South Bay. She had been battling health problems and died of complications from a blood clot that first developed in May. Oropeza, 53, was successfully treated for liver cancer in 2004.
“Tuesday’s result will trigger a special election.”
It’s not the first time a dead candidate has prevailed in an election.
In 2000 Mel Carnahan beat incumbent Republican Senator John Ashcroft for a U.S. Senate seat from Missouri. Carnahan died in a plane crash on October 16, 2000, three weeks before the election. It was too late to remove his name from the ballot.
After his defeat, Ashcroft was chosen for the position of U.S. attorney general by president-elect George W. Bush.
During his tenure Ashcroft championed the Patriot Act and famously had a partially-nude statue at the Justice Department covered up.
There are also at least three instances of voters choosing deceased candidates for the House.