Candidate Killed by Hurricane Could Still Win Election

Life’s Little Mysteries Staff
Was Superstorm Sandy Costlier than Hurricane Katrina?
An Oct. 31 satellite image of the remnants of Hurricane Sandy over the Eastern United States.

A tree limb brought down by Superstorm Sandy claimed the life of John Rose, a state legislative candidate in West Virginia, but his death came too close to the election to remove his name from the ballot.

Rose, 60, a Barbour County Republican candidate for the House of Delegates, died on Tuesday (Oct. 30) when a snow-laden tree branch snapped and struck him while he was out checking fences on his deer farm, according to the Charleston (W.V.) Daily Mail. The massive snowstorm wrought by Hurricane Sandy left parts of West Virginia buried in more than 3 feet of snow.

If the late Rose wins Tuesday's (Nov. 6) election against House of Delegates Education Chair Mary Poling, a Democrat, West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, also a Democrat, will appoint one of three nominees submitted by the Barbour County GOP executive committee.

And it wouldn’t be the first time a deceased candidate won public office. In 2000, late Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan became the first deceased person elected to the U.S. Senate when he beat Republican incumbent John Ashcroft despite dying in a plane crash a few weeks before the election.

Carnahan's wife, Jean Carnahan, was appointed as his replacement, and she served for two years.

In the November 2010 elections, four deceased candidates running for various state and federal offices won their races, while two lost.

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