North Dakota voters in the state’s 8th district elected two Republicans to the state legislature yesterday over and against the two opposing Democratic candidates.
The only problem is that one of those Republican candidates – David Andahl – passed away of COVID-19 complications in October.
Andahl passed away on October 5th after contracting COVID-19. According to his family, he was very cautious when it came to the virus because of his own health problems. His mother said she is unsure how he may have caught the virus.
He passed away after four days in the hospital. He was 55 years old.
Nevertheless, he came out victorious above his Democratic challengers during yesterday’s election. North Dakota’s mail-in voting began prior to Andahl’s death on September 24th. By the time Andahl passed, changes could no longer be made to the general election ballot.
Andahl won 35.53% of the vote, and fellow Republican candidate Dave Nehring won 40.72%.
“He had a lot of feelings for his country,” his mother, Pat Andahl, told reporters soon after his death, “…and wanting to make things better, and his heart was in farming. He wanted to things better for farmers and the coal industry. So many things he was very passionate about, and was hoping that he could get into the legislature and be of some help. He was looking forward to it. He was looking forward to being part of that.”
According to his obituary, Andahl was passionate about ranching and farming, and he traveled the world as a professional racer.
He was known as a “Trump Republican”.
In his family’s announcement of his death, they asked people to remember him for the life he lived:
“We are heartbroken, and we ask that he be remembered not by how he died, but by how he lived.”
While there is no set procedure for how to handle the pre-election death of a candidate, North Dakota’s Attorney General has stated that the district’s Republican Party will appoint a new representative to replace Andahl, following the same procedure they would follow if a representative were to step down or retire early.