Candidate for mayor re-elected for third term in spite of having died from COVID-19

Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune.


Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune

While that recently happened in Romania, in the village of Deveselu, it isn’t that uncommon for a deceased person to win an election.
Pahrump, Nevada also had a deceased candidate win an election there in 2018, but it was not for mayor, it was for Nevada’s 36th Assembly District, which reaches out as far as California and Utah, and includes the Nevada National Security Site where our nuclear weapons were once tested. And Dennis Hof, the candidate, did not die from either COVID-19 or the complications thereof, since it apparently did not even exist in October 2018, the month he died. But he was a popular candidate, and as with the mayor of Deveselu, his death did not stop anyone from voting for him.
There are reasons why a deceased person’s name can still be on the ballot, and reasons why anyone knowing that the candidate is dead would still vote for him, but the point is that loyalty to a candidate apparently has more pull than the fact of a candidate being alive. The person chosen to fill the seat would likely be someone in the same party and close to the deceased’s political beliefs and voting record.
Anyway, we are starting to see COVID-19 reaching into politics, and not to just the very senior members either. The above-mentioned mayoral candidate in Romania was only a couple days short of being 57 years old. That is hardly considered elderly in today’s world. But Herman Cain, who sought the Republican nomination for president in 2012, died July 30 from complications of the coronavirus. He was much older at 74. He was hospitalized in Atlanta just days after attending a campaign rally for Donald Trump in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he was seen without a mask. And while there don’t seem to be any present politicians that I could find who have died from the virus, many of them have been exposed to the virus, tested positive, and have self-quarantined. More than ten just in the month of September alone.
And after briefly researching the subject of those who have died from COVID-19 or its complications, it shows us that even the younger set, those in their 40s or 30s and younger, are not excluded. Broadway star Nick Cordero passed away on July 5 due to complications from coronavirus. He was 41. And Chris Trousdale, a member of the boy band Dream Street, died of coronavirus complications on June 2. He was only 34.
Then I discovered that a 6-year-old girl in Florida has now become the youngest person known to have died of the virus. And eight children under the age of 18 have also died of the virus, all of them in Florida, according to the health department’s pediatric report.
As someone once told me, statistics don’t matter to the person who is affected. If you were the only one affected, that doesn’t make the situation any better for you. It is hard to know who will yet be caught up in the devastating death web of the coronavirus. Statistics won’t matter if it is you or me or someone we love.
It is up to each one of us to be aware of the real or possible danger and act accordingly. Many, if not most, will likely never be infected, never be hospitalized with the virus, and never die from COVID-19 or its complications. But it’s never about those who are NOT infected or become sick from the virus. It’s about those who are.
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Another way to bring in additional profit during these days Remember those who would take advantage of price gouging those who were caught up in some disaster—something like a fire, a hurricane, or a flood—by charging exorbitant amounts for something as necessary as bottled water or even a warm blanket? Most of us would see that kind of thing as unconscionable. During times like that it would seem that the humane thing to do would be to share with the needy or sell what is needed at the usual non-disaster price. Well, not that selling merchandise during the coronavirus is exactly the same kind of thing, and I have no idea what face masks and other COVID-19-related products cost before the need for them became mandatory, but I just came across something COVID-19-related that has never existed before. And I was rather surprised.
Way before the coronavirus became a household word, I’ve been shopping online or from catalogs, both for convenience and sometimes out of necessity, since I no longer have a car of my own because I no longer drive. While my daughter is always willing and happy to take me wherever I need to go, I like to be a little more independent than that; besides, she has a life of her own and nobody wants their life interrupted just to take their mother to a store.
Anyway, now that you know I often shop from catalogs or online, I want to mention something that I just discovered for the first time this past week. One of the catalogs I shop from has now added an additional charge to the merchandise cost, the tax, and the shipping and handling fees: a COVID-19 surcharge.
Thank goodness all the places I shop have not thought of adding that surcharge, which may or may not have any real validity, but for now, that’s one fewer catalog I’ll be shopping from.
And that’s the latest on the COVID-19 situation, as it seems to be today.
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Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune. She writes a weekly column in this newspaper. To contact Maramis, email her at

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