In August, the Federal Way Mirror in Washington State said of their close 30th District state house election, “this race may be the most interesting to watch. Two good, smart candidates who know the issues and will run a very clean race.”
It was a race to watch, but not for the reason they predicted.
The incumbent Democratic state Rep. Roger Freeman — one of two black representatives in the state legislature — died at the end of October at the age of 48. Around 15 percent of the district’s voters had already mailed in their ballots, and at the end of Election night he had a six-point-lead over his Republican opponent, Jack Dovey.
The death was so recent that most voters were simply unaware that it had happened, and voted for the incumbent or on a party line. Local news station KVAL spoke to one such person on Tuesday night.
Voter Steven Hinz cast a ballot for Freeman because he didn’t know the candidate had died.
“I did not know that,” he said. “When did he pass away?”