Dead Oklahoma mayor stays on ballot for runoff election

Posted at 9:48 AM, Feb 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-14 09:48:09-05

EDMOND, Okla. -  The City of Edmond is making plans for a mayoral runoff in April, but one of the candidates is no longer living, according to KFOR.

"The is the first time we have had a candidate move forward that was no longer living," said Casey Moore, City of Edmond.

"There's a lot of folks out there that were really strong Charles Lamb supporters and they are having a hard time giving that up," said Mike Cunningham, an Edmond voter.

Charles Lamb finished second in Tuesday's election. Now, officials say the top two candidates will head to a runoff election in April.

In December, Lamb, who was serving as the city's mayor, filed to run for another term. The 72-year-old died unexpectedly a short time after filing.

"State election law says there is a period, a three-day period, after that you can't get on the ballot. I guess you can't get off of it either," said Nick Massey, Edmond city councilman.

Massey says he would have entered his name into the race if he had known that Lamb was about to pass. He, along with other city council members, are still supporting Lamb in the election.

If Lamb wins the runoff, the city council would then appoint a new mayor.

"We have ample precedent for that in the City of Edmond where people have moved on and others were appointed," said Massey.

However, not everyone agrees with that plan.

Dan O'Neil, a former Edmond mayor, is running for the seat again. He finished first in Tuesday's election with close to 56% of the vote.

"It's important that we have elected officials in our community, nationwide, that is what a democracy is all about," O'Neil said.

O'Neil says not having a full campaign and making an appointment after the election would do the voters a disservice.

"The community loses when you don't have that kind of public dialogue. That's important," said O'Neil.