Missouri town re-elects deceased mayor

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The town of Winfield, Missouri in the United States has re-elected its incumbent mayor for a third term nearly a month after his death. Mayor Harry Stonebraker died of a heart attack on March 11, yet came out on top over opponent Alderman Bernie Panther, with 90% of the vote.

The ballots had been printed and absentee voting was already underway by the time of Stonebraker's death. County Clerk Elaine Luck commented that Stonebraker was quite popular, especially after his efforts to help the town evacuate during last year's flooding.

Just nine years ago, the state of Missouri posthumously elected one of its US Senators, when Democratic challenger Mel Carnahan defeated incumbent John Ashcroft, a Republican, after dying several weeks before the election in a plane crash.

"I figured he'd win because he seemed to get even more popular after he died, just like Carnahan," Luck said.

Luck said an interim mayor would be appointed to serve until a special election in April 2010 can be held and whose winner would fill out the remainder of the two-year term.