WEIRD NEWS
11/10/2016 12:01 pm ET

California City Elects Dead Man To Office After Bizarre Campaign

“Even though Gary passed away, he is still better qualified than she is,” a city councilman said of his challenger.
The late Gary Ernst successful won his reelection campaign in Oceanside City, California, on Tuesday.
Oceanside City
The late Gary Ernst successful won his reelection campaign in Oceanside City, California, on Tuesday.

It was one spirited campaign.

A Southern California man who was running for re-election as Oceanside city treasurer successfully defeated his opponent Tuesday, despite having died over a month ago.

Gary Ernst, 61, received 6 percentage points more of the vote than his challenger, Nadine Scott, who had tirelessly worked to inform the public of Ernst’s Sept. 23 death.

Officials in Oceanside announced that Ernst would remain on the ballot because there wasn’t enough time to scrub his name.

Scott, speaking to NBC 7, said she hopes she will still be appointed to honor the 15,500 people who voted for her. But at least one of her critics has different plans.

Oceanside City Councilman Jerry Kern, who continued to rally the public in support of Ernst after his death, hopes that Scott’s defeat will lead the City Council to appoint someone else.

“Even though Gary passed away, he is still better qualified than she is,” he told the Voice of San Diego.

If the city doesn’t appoint someone in Ernst’s place, the other option would be to hold a special election, which ABC 10 News reported would cost the city $500,000.

Scott said Kern is entitled to his own opinion, but argued that she is certainly qualified for the position — especially over someone who is dead.

“I have governmental experience, I have a law degree and a legal background, and I have also been a district treasurer for the last 20 years,” she told ABC News.

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