Web Exclusive: Dead mayor elected

JACKSON'S GAP, ALABAMA (CNN) - There could be a political joke in here somewhere.
The mayor of Jacksons' Gap, Alabama beat her opponent in a landslide. Problem is, she's dead now, and had been before the election.

"It's never happened." 

 Janice Canham, seen here, died on July 30th, but was re-elected mayor of Jacksons' Gap Tuesday night.

"She really campaigned really hard, you know, before election and up until she passed away."  

Jackson's gap town clerk says a dead woman being elected is the first in the small town's history, Earning twice the amount of votes over her opponent.

Canham's death came in the middle of a pending lawsuit against the city from her opponent.  

"It's just been a nasty campaign to me."

Ginger Carlisle says Canham was the better candidate.  

"It could have been some that were voting against Mr. Crouch because there was a lot of negative things."

Newly elected council member Janice Glaze say it was sentimental electing her as mayor.

 "People love to leave a legacy and I knew it was her hope and desire to be mayor and to move Jacksons' Gap forward."  

"It was her final wish."  

Canham's niece Terri Anne Mccgreight says she loved the town and had a vision for progress.

"She was trying to get more people to come into the town. She passed away from complications after surgery."  

So, you're wondering, how could this happen? The town clerk says she was alive when the ballot was prepared and it's legal and was verified with state election officials. Alabama state law requires a candidate's name to remain on the ballot, even after death. This is to prevent candidates from killing rivals in order to win. The town council will have to appoint a new mayor after the new term starts in November.


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