David Andahl was elected to the state Legislature although he passed away from coronavirus complications in October
In a strange turn of events, a North Dakota businessman and rancher who died from COVID-19 last month was elected to the statehouse during this week’s general election.
According to unofficial results from the state, despite the fact that David Andahl died on October 5, a full month ahead of Election Day, the Republican candidate is projected to win one of two seats from among four candidates in the race for North Dakota’s 8th District after receiving approximately 35.53% of the total votes.
Following Andahl’s death, questions were raised about what would happen in the event that he won. Now it appears that is going to be the case. To alleviate any concerns, North Dakota’s attorney general issued an opinion stating that the situation would be treated the same as when an official steps down or retires. In essence, that means the district’s Republican Party will now have the responsibility of appointing a representative to fill his vacant seat.
“Our beloved son David passed away yesterday after a short battle with COVID-19,” read the Oct. 6 announcement posted by Andahl’s family. “He was very cautious especially because he did have a few health challenges, but he was unable to fend off this disease. We are heartbroken, and we ask that he be remembered not by how he died, but by how he lived.”
His passing only further underscores the alarming number of coronavirus cases that North Dakota has been dealing with this year. It is currently among the COVID hotspots nationwide according to the New York Times.
CNN reports that Andahl’s family thanked the supporters who had played a role in his bid for the state House, writing, “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.”
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