Dead candidate advances to final round of US mayoral election

World News | Published:

Charles Lamb’s name will be on the April 2 ballot in Oklahoma despite his death in December.

A US candidate has advanced to the final round of mayoral elections – despite dying in December.

Charles Lamb’s name will be on the April 2 ballot to be mayor of Edmond, Oklahoma, following a Facebook campaign supporting his candidacy.

Results from the three-person race showed that former mayor Mr Lamb finished second to Dan O’Neil.

“It’s sort of an awkward election,” Mr O’Neil said. “Mr Lamb was a fixture in Edmond for a long time … I will continue doing what he did,” he added.

If Mr Lamb is elected, the City Council would appoint a living mayor.

“There are people advocating for his election for their political reasons … they want to be mayor,” according to Mr O’Neil, who served one term as mayor from 2007-2009.

The Facebook campaign was led by Michelle Schaefer, of Edmond, who referred questions to Councilman Nick Massey, who Ms Schaefer has said she hopes is appointed mayor.


Mr Massey also called the situation awkward and said he would have run for mayor had Mr Lamb not sought re-election, but that the filing period had closed when Mr Lamb died.

He said he would be “honoured” to accept the appointment but would not campaign for people to vote for Mr Lamb in the general election.

“I think I prefer to sit back and let the citizens do what they think is right. I don’t expect to do any active campaigning,” Mr Massey said.

“If you like the direction the city has been taking over the last six, seven, eight years, you might consider voting for Charles and let the City Council decide who to appoint” to lead the city of nearly 92,000, he added.


When Mr Lamb died it was too late to remove his name from the ballot or to add anyone else, according to city spokesman Casey Moore.

Although Mr O’Neil received nearly 56% of the more than 6,200 votes cast, both he and Mr Lamb, who received 33%, will appear on the April ballot.

Erik Lamb, the son of the late mayor, said he, his sister and his mother learned of the planned social media campaign and discussed it before it became public.

“We were approached by outside people who asked if they would have our blessing and we gave it to them to go ahead and continue,” Erik Lamb said.

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