Dead Man Winning: Republican Wins Seat in the House For North Dakota One Month After Dying of COVID

Whoever said democracy is dead is…kind of right? That’s the only conclusion we can draw after learning that a dead man won a seat on the North Dakota state legislature in the 2020 election.

His name was David Andahl. The 55-year-old rancher also known as “Dakota Dave” was reportedly a “Trump Republican” who died of (wait for it) COVID-19 in October, less than a week after being admitted to the hospital. This is perhaps unsurprising given that the CDC has deemed North Dakota the state with the highest per-capita coronavirus rate in the U.S.

“He has been a public servant for many years and was looking forward to the opportunity to serve in the state legislature,” his family said on the candidate’s Facebook page following his death. “We are sad that his wish will not come to pass.”

Well, his wish sort of came true. Because despite his death, Andahl’s name stayed on the ballot, and as was revealed this week, he won, garnering 5,901 votes, which comes in around 35.53 percent of the total. He beat out two Democratic opponents in the process. (It’s gotta suck to be a candidate who loses to a dead dude.) North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem has said that the state GOP will pick a replacement for Andahl.

This posthumous win is not without precedent, however; since 2000, this has happened six times across the country. The most colorful example: a Nevada brothel owner named Dennis Hof, who died after a weekend full of birthday parties (what a way to go), won a spot on the state legislature in 2018.

We don’t want to judge you, North Dakota Republicans (yes we do), but when your best choice is a dead man maybe it’s time to reconsider your political party.

Cover Photo: David Andahl 

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