Analysis & Comment

Man wins North Dakota election after dying of COVID-19

A man who died of COVID-19 has been elected to North Dakota’s House of Representatives.

According to official results, David Andahl, 55, was elected to be one of two state representatives in District 8 in North Dakota, along with fellow Republican Dave Nehring.

Unfortunately, Andahl died in October after contracting the novel coronavirus.

October was a record month for new COVID-19 cases in the state of North Dakota.

Several parts of the state were moved into the “high risk” orange level on the state’s coronavirus response system.

However, under the elevated risk level, no restrictions were mandated.

Andahl died on Oct. 5, according to his family.

“He was very cautious especially because he did have a few health challenges, but he was unable to fend off this disease,” they wrote on Facebook.

“He has been a public servant for many years and was looking forward to the opportunity to serve in the state legislature. We are sad that his wish will not come to pass.”

Andahl worked as a cattle rancher and was on the zoning and planning commission near his home in Burleigh County for 16 years, according to the Bismarck Tribune.

“We are heartbroken, and we ask that he be remembered not by how he died, but by how he lived.”

It’s unclear what will happen to his seat, although state Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem told the Grand Forks Herald he believed it was up to the local Republican party chapter to fill the vacancy.

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