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West-Side Residents Will Elect Anybody — Even Dead Men!

2 dead candidates winning local elections in Western Washington
(Photo by J. Emilio Flores/Getty Images)

In a story that’s gathering some national attention, not one, but TWO dead candidates are winning races in Western Washington!

In Des Moines, a candidate for King County Water District No.54 was leading two other contenders by nearly a 3-1 margin! The only problem, the 63-year-old political veteran died in August and King County officials said they didn’t have time to remove him from the ballot!

So far, less than 500 votes have been cast in what officials say is a low-level race. John Rosentangle has 318 of the votes in early counting; his next challenger has 129!

In Aberdeen, a city councilman could win his seat again, even though John Erak died in June. Because he passed after the filing date, city law required officials were legally required to keep his name on the ballot! Erak leads by a close margin of 98-86 in early returns. If he does keep his council seat, the council have to elect a “living” candidate to fill it.

Officials say these cases illustrate the lack of voter participation and investigation. Critics say the two municipalities didn’t do enough to inform voters these candidates had died.



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