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The Mayor Abstains

Joe Holley

Honoring the dead takes many forms in many different cultures, although I'm not sure I've ever heard of a community honoring a dear, departed friend by electing him to public office. That's what the good people of Winfield, Mo., did April 7 when they re-elected Mayor Harry Stonebreaker to a fourth term, even though the 69-year-old had died of a heart attack a month earlier.

I'm from Texas, so I know about the dead coming back to vote -- that's how LBJ made it to the U.S. Senate -- but a deceased person running for office, and winning, is a bit more unusual.

Still, the people of Winfield said they knew exactly what they were doing. Stonebreaker was loved and respected, they told the Associated Press. "People wanted him to win," the acting mayor said, "and I guess they showed what they wanted."

By Joe Holley  |  April 11, 2009; 11:26 AM ET
Categories:  Joe Holley  
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