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Deceased candidate wins seat in Garland County

By Arkansas Online Press Services

This article was published November 2, 2010 at 11:29 p.m.

Keith Crass

A candidate who died days before the election and whose name could not be removed from the ballot in time won the race in Garland County on Tuesday.

Keith Crass, who died last Wednesday at age 51, was the Republican candidate for the District 24 state House of Representatives seat from Garland County

The Democratic candidate for the seat is Garland County Judge Larry Williams.

With all precincts reporting, Crass had 4,985 votes to Williams' 3,970.

Sandra McGrew, a spokesman for the secretary of state’s office, said last week that a special election would be held to fill the seat if more voters cast ballots for Crass than for Williams.

Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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Displaying 1 - 4 of 4 total comments

RBBrittain says... November 3, 2010 at 2:01 a.m.

Actually, the Secretary of State's office is incorrect. Under the precedent established by the Arkansas Supreme Court in the case of Louise Berry (the dead woman elected to the Eureka Springs City Council in the 1990's), the current member from District 22, Rep. Rick Saunders (D-Hot Springs), will hold the seat for the dead man's term. The reason for this is that death of a candidate that close to an election (i.e., too late for the party to name a new nominee) is only a "failure to qualify" under the Arkansas Constitution, so the incumbent "holds over" till his or her successor qualifies (in case of death, not till after the next election); it is NOT a "vacancy" that would trigger a special election. Only if Saunders chooses to resign would a special election be held. (This is in spite of the fact that Saunders is term-limited and could NOT run for re-election on his own.)

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dumblikeme says... November 3, 2010 at 8:10 a.m.

What can we derive from this? 4,985 people in Garland county either A) Don't have a clue, or B) Felt compelled to force their county government to spend unnecessary time and money dealing with this issue.

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moogiep07241652 says... November 3, 2010 at 11:09 a.m.

Or maybe they just really, really don't like Larry Williams.

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tmrapa says... November 3, 2010 at 11:50 a.m.

A dead Republican is better than a live Democrat.

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