Even a Dead Democrat Beats a Green Candidate

According to Pennsylvania voters.

Pax Ahimsa Gethen

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This sums up my disgust with two-party politics in the United States.

In yesterday’s election, Anthony “Tony” DeLuca was on the ballot in my hometown county of Allegheny, Pennsylvania. A long-time Democratic representative, he was seeking re-election to the state’s 32nd legislative district.

DeLuca won easily, with over 85% of the vote. However, he was not able to celebrate his victory, as he had died of lymphoma on October 9. He was 85 years old.

While DeLuca’s death came too late to remove his name from the ballot, it was still a month before election day. There was time to get the news out that there was another candidate for the office: Queonia “Zarah” Livingston, a healthcare worker and community organizer running with the Green Party. Among her endorsers was Sunrise Pittsburgh, a chapter of the Sunrise Movement for climate justice.

Campaign image with a photo of Zarah Livingston speaking into a microphone and the words “Sunrise Pittsburgh Endorses Zarah Livingston HD32”. Source tweet here.

It’s quite possible that some people mailed in their votes for DeLuca before his death, and that other voters really hadn’t heard the news that he died. But the overwhelming margin of victory makes it clear that many voters deliberately chose DeLuca over Livingston, even knowing that he was dead. The House Democratic Campaign Committee tweeted thanks for these posthumous votes, which triggered a special election.

I am so fed up with the stranglehold the two-party system has on U.S. politics, and the shaming of progressive independent and third-party voters like myself that goes with it. Anyone who doesn’t vote for Democrats is accused of being privileged, delusional, or worse, traitorous.

But note that in this particular race, the dead candidate was a white man and the living candidate…

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Pax Ahimsa Gethen

Queer agender trans male. Black vegan atheist, pacifist. Pronouns: they/them/their. funcrunch.org, patreon.com/funcrunch