North Dakota businessman and rancher David Andahl has been elected to the state House, despite passing away on October 5, after losing his battle with COVID-19.
According to CNN, the Republican candidate received 35.53 percent of the total votes for North Dakota’s 8th district and trailed GOP candidate Dave Nehring, who won 40.72 percent of the vote. Two seats were available from the four candidates put forward in the district.
Following Andahl’s death, speculation has risen about what will happen with his seat following the outcome of the recent election. Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, explained the vote would be treated in the same way if a candidate retired or stepped down from their position and the Republican Party will fill the vacancy with a replacement.
Andahl’s family issued a statement on his Facebook page shortly after his death. They explained how important the upcoming election was to the 55-year-old and praised his willingness to help others during his life.
“David was a kind, caring man whose greatest joy was helping others. He gave generously of his time to his family, friends, neighbors and his community. He has been a public servant for many years and was looking forward to the opportunity to serve in the state legislature. We are sad that his wish will not come to pass. We thank all of you who have supported David in the past, and we ask for your continued support and prayers as we make arrangements to celebrate his life.”
Andahl was endorsed by high-profile politicians, including Gov. Doug Burgum and U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer, earlier in the year to succeed in the November elections. He was praised for his commitment as a Trump Republican and for his willingness to fight for the coal industry.
Posthumous election victories have occurred in the past but are rare. In 2018, legal brothel owner Dennis Hof won the midterm election for state legislature in Carson City three weeks after the 72-year-old was found dead after a birthday party.
Cases of COVID-19 have been rising quickly in North Dakota in recent months, and its highest seven-day moving average was recorded on Tuesday, November 3.
The result of the 2020 presidential election is still undecided as votes are being counted. The Inquisitr reported on the predictions made by political commentator Tim Pool about the election. He believes the impact of this election will continue for years with Trump’s team filing lawsuits against Michigan and Pennsylvania and requesting a recount in these states.