A Pennsylvanian state Representative won reelection with a landslide victory although he died a month before the midterms. Democrat Anthony DeLuca, 85, was the state's longest-serving representative before his death on October 9 from lymphoma. Reportedly, it was too late to print new ballots because of the timing of DeLuca's death.
Also, there was no time to select an alternate Democrat candidate. A special election will now be held in December to determine who will fill in the seat since DeLuca's name was not removed from the ballot after the November 8 election. However, many are now also alleging a lack of voter awareness for DeLuca's win.
Surprise Candidate, Extraordinary Results
One month after his death DeLuca not only managed to win the reelection but did it in style. DeLuca defeated green candidate Queonia Livingston, by more than 85 percent votes. The timing of DeLuca's death reportedly made it too late to pick a different Democrat candidate, or to reprint updated ballots.
A new election will be held soon to fix the error, the Pennsylvania House Democratic campaign organization stated in an online statement on Tuesday evening. They also thanked supporters, who likely voted him in posthumously.
Pennsylvania House Democratic campaign committee said: "While we're incredibly saddened by the loss of Representative Tony DeLuca, we are proud to see the voters continue to show their confidence in him and his commitment to Democratic values by re-electing him posthumously. A special election will follow soon."
However, many are blaming DeLuca's victory over Livingston of the Green Party on a lack of voter awareness, while others speculate that voters simply didn't want to support Livingston. Many said they just chose the name they were most familiar with and didn't know that DeLuca had died last month.
However, his victory did not trigger a special election because under Nevada state law county officials could appoint another republican to take his place for the entire term.
Hero Even After His Death
One thing is clear DeLuca's popularity continues even after his death and that's the reason behind his landslide victory. However, still many have been questioning why DeLuca's name wasn't removed from the ballot. But, interestingly, the is no protocol for removing names from the ballot in the event of death within a month of the election.
DeLuca served as the Democratic head of the House insurance committee for 20 years while serving as the state's 32nd legislative district's representative for 39 years.
His opponent reminded people on Twitter that she was the last remaining contender in the campaign after he passed away while he continued to remotely vote on bills up until a few days before his death.
"Voting "safe" means because people in my district decided to vote for the guy that is now deceased; to honor his legacy," Livingston said.
"We now have no one in our district, to represent us at all until the special election is over. I would love for someone to tell me how this is better??"
DeLuca leaves behind four children, nine grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. Connie, his late wife of 66 years who passed away after a fight with breast cancer, died a few years ago.
Three special elections will now be held in Pennsylvania within the next few months to fill the seats of retiring state representatives Austin Davis, who will resign to serve as the state's Lt. Governor, and Summer Lee, who won her race for Congress against Republican Mike Doyle,