Jenny Oropeza, a Democrat from southern California, handily won her reelection for state Senate. But she won’t be around to serve the term.
Oropeza died after a long battle with cancer on Oct. 20, which was too late to have her name removed from the ballot. But a little thing like death didn’t stop her party for promoting her; a week after she died, Democrats sent mailings to residents telling them to still vote for Oropeza. Why vote for a departed state Senator? Electing her would force a special election, which would give the Democrats time to nominate someone else from their party. (See 25 crazy campaign moments.)
The heavily-Democratic district did its party’s bidding yesterday. With more than half the vote counted, voters named Oropeza the winner with 54% of the vote. Her (living) opponent, John Stammreich, only received 40% of the vote. Unless something changes, the governor will have two weeks to declare a special election and schedule it within three or four months. (See pictures of Americans voting.)