- Ingvard Ashby
It wasn’t bad enough that Facebook influenced the 2016 election by prioritizing hoax conspiracy news over fact-checking articles; a Facebook group is trying to influence the Edmond mayoral race by advocating the election of elected mayor Charles Lamb, who died in early December.
Lamb passed away at age 72 a week after declaring his re-election campaign and remains on the ballot because it’s too late to make changes, according to Oklahoma County Election Board.
Lamb is on the ballot with Dan O’Neil, a former Edmond mayor, and Richard Prawdzienski, the former head of the state’s libertarian party. The top two vote getters advance to a runoff, assuming there is no majority winner. If Lamb wins, the city council appoints the next mayor.
Edmond business owner Michelle Schaefer, who was tracked down by KFOR, started a Facebook group called VoteForCharles. Schaefer told the television station that she wants the city council to appoint someone who “shares [Lamb’s] vision” and advocated for current city councilman Nick Massey.
Well, well, well, that doesn’t seem fishy at all. It just so happens that Massey could potentially vote for himself to be the next mayor. Massey told KFOR that he didn’t file to run for mayor originally out of respect for Lamb, who served on Edmond’s city council from 1993 to 2011, was named interim mayor following the resignation of Patrice Douglas and won elections in 2013, 2015 and 2017.
O’Neil is trying to get out in front of the concerns of people like Schaefer, telling attendees of a political forum that he would continue Lamb’s vision for “Tomorrow’s Edmond,” according to The Edmond Sun.
Winning an election after death is not unprecedented. Dennis Hof — the owner of the Nevada brothel featured in HBO’s Cathouse — won a Nevada State Legislature seat just last year. Hof’s replacement was named by the local county commission, which makes much more sense than Edmond’s situation of using the council to potentially name Lamb’s replacement.
Regardless, it makes more sense to vote for a dead guy than a libertarian.