A long-serving representative in the Pennsylvania state House has been reelected, even after he died a month ago.
Democrat State Rep. Anthony “Tony” DeLuca, 85, who died on Oct. 9 after a battle with cancer, won his race in a deep-blue state district. As of Thursday, the New York Times’ election tracker showed DeLuca posthumously won 86 percent of the vote total, while Green Party candidate Queonia “Zarah” Livingston — whose campaign issues included “environmental justice,” “ending the war on drugs,” and “reducing gun violence” — got 14 percent of the vote total. No Republicans ran for the seat.
The Pennsylvania House Democrats thanked the strong showing of support for their deceased candidate in a tweet on election night.
“While we’re incredibly saddened by the loss of Representative Tony DeLuca, we are proud to see the voters to continue to show their confidence in him and his commitment to Democratic values by re-electing him posthumously,” the PA House Dems tweeted. “A special election will follow soon.”
DeLuca was Pennsylvania’s longest-serving state representative, having held the seat from 1983 until his death in October.
After having posthumously won the election, DeLuca’s seat will now go to a special election, which will allow the Democrats a chance to select a new candidate for the seat.
Public Source PA reporter Charlie Wolfson tweeted, “Some folks commenting that the voters here were oblivious. Some certainly were. But for others, they likely preferred the idea of a special election over electing the third-party candidate on the ballot.”
“We’ve got three special elections coming our way in Allegheny Co, all of them safe Dem seats,” Wolfson added. “Summer Lee will resign to join Congress, Austin Davis will resign to become lt. gov., and the DeLuca seat. Reminder: Candidates are nominated by party committees, not by primaries.”