Dead Candidates Leading In Two Washington State Races

Two candidates in Washington State are winning their respective elections despite the seemingly important problem that they happen to be dead:

SEATTLE — Two candidates in separate races in Washington state are winning in Tuesday’s election despite being dead.

In the Seattle suburb of Des Moines, John Rosentangle won 71 percent of the vote over write-in candidates in the King County Water District 54. The 63-year-old died in August of an illness.

On the Washington coast in Aberdeen, John Erak is leading Alan Richrod with 53 percent of the vote in a city council race. The 81-year-old Erak was a former state representative who died in June shortly after announcing he was running to retain his seat on the city council. His current lead is only 12 votes, and the results aren’t final.

In both cases, it was too late after the men had died to replace them on the ballot. Which suggests, perhaps, that the laws ought to be changed to allow for new candidates to be named when the person on the ballot is obviously not going to be able to take office.

On the other hand, perhaps Congress would be better if we elected mostly dead people.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2013, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. CSK says:

    You know, this Zombie Apocalypse business has gotten totally out-of -hand.

  2. rudderpedals says:

    Those losing to the dead can find solace in John Ashcroft’s career.

  3. Dave Schuler says:

    IMO this violates the state’s constitution. Under the constitution of the state of Washington to be eligible to run for an office you must be eligible to vote. The constitution requires voters to live in the state. By definition, if you’re dead, you’re not living. Consequently, they’re not eligible to run for the offices.