A San Diego city official, Gary Ernst, was successfully re-elected as Oceanside city treasurer against his female challenger Nadine Scott, despite not even being alive.
Late Gary Ernst died at age 61 in September. He was suffering from diabetes and died of natural causes.
Surprisingly, he still managed to beat his challenger, Nadine Scott, by a margin of 6 percent. Ernst earned 17,659 votes.
Oceanside Officials said that Ernst remained on the ballot because there wasn't time to remove it.
City council members can declare the seat vacant since the winner cannot physically take office, according to Oceanside’s City Attorney John Mullen. That will lead to either an appointment or a special election.
Scott made an effort to tell the people to make their vote count by voting for her as voting for a dead challenger would waste their vote.
Scott said that she would like to be appointed to honor the 15,500 voters who cast their ballot for her.
Ernst served a four-year term as city treasurer after being elected in 2010, he was chosen from among eight people who applied for the Oceanside treasurer's job, which pays about $24,000 annually.
Scott’s political rival, Jerry Kern, continued to rally the public, “Vote for him anyway because that way we can get somebody who is qualified," he said.
Scott believes voters were not informed that Ernst was deceased prior to the election because some city leaders wanted to appoint another candidate after the election.