Re-elected in Pennsylvania but died a month ago: 85% of the vote for Democrat Tony DeLuca
US & Canada

Re-elected in Pennsylvania but died a month ago: 85% of the vote for Democrat Tony DeLuca

At the time of his death, it was too late to change the ballot papers or enter a fourth candidate. Special elections will follow

While we’re incredibly saddened by the loss of Representative Tony DeLuca, we are proud to see the voters to continue to show their confidence in him and his commitment to Democratic values by re-electing him posthumously. A special election will follow soon.

With this message on Twitter, the Democratic Campaign Committee in Pennsylvania announced the posthumous re-election of the most veteran representative of this American state, who obtained 85% of the votes even though he died of lymphoma on October 9th.

At the time of his death, it was too late to change the ballot papers or enter a fourth candidate for the seat. And since her direct rival, green candidate Queonia “Zarah” Livingston, won 14% of the vote, DeLuca’s victory triggered a special election to be held at a later date.

It is not the first time that a candidate has won a posthumous election. In 2018, Republican Dennis Hof won a seat in the Nevada Senate, despite his death the month before. Unlike Pennsylvania, though, his victory did not trigger special elections, as Nevada state law allowed for the appointment of another Republican in Hof’s place for the full term.

Some believe that cases like these, of posthumous election, are due to a lack of awareness of the voters on current events (such as whether the candidate is alive or dead), others believe that voters simply choose the name with which they have most familiarity.

DeLuca has represented Pennsylvania’s 32nd Legislative District for 39 years, and for the past 20 years, he has served as Democratic Chair of the House Insurance Committee.