David Andahl, who died on Oct. 5 at age 55, won one of the two seats available in North Dakota’s eighth district

By Julie Mazziotta
November 04, 2020 08:26 AM
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David Andahl
| Credit: David Andahl Facebook

A Republican candidate for North Dakota’s state legislature won his election, despite dying from COVID-19 nearly a month earlier.

David Andahl died on Oct. 5 at age 55 due to complications from COVID-19. His mother, Pat Andahl, had told the Bismarck Tribune that her son was hospitalized with the virus and died just four days after getting sick. She told the outlet she had “no idea” how he contracted COVID-19, saying he was “very careful.”

Andahl won one of the two seats available in North Dakota’s eighth district, alongside Dave Nehring. They had already won a competitive primary race in June, edging out Rep. Jeff Delzer, a longtime Republican member of North Dakota’s House of Representatives who is the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.

Andahl and Nehring had the support of North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, who openly campaigned against Delzer, the longtime representative. Burgum, also a Republican, donated more than $1.8 million to a political action committee to help oust Delzer in the primaries, according to the Associated Press.

The deceased Andahl won the seat with 35.5 percent of the vote.

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COVID-19 cases in North Dakota have soared over the last month. The state now leads the country with the most new cases per 100,000 people, according to the COVID Tracking Project, and saw a record-high 1,433 new infections on Oct. 31. On Tuesday, North Dakota had their highest number of hospitalizations yet, 335.

Since the start of the pandemic, more than 47,000 people in North Dakota have tested positive for COVID-19, and at least 561 people have died from the virus, according to The New York Times.