Carl Geary died a month ago from a heart attack as he campaigned to be selected for the small country town. Despite his sudden death he still polled over three times as many votes as his rival in the election in Tracy City, Tennessee.
His widow, Susan Geary, said his election “was not a surprise at all to me.”
“The day he passed away, people were calling with condolences and saying, ‘We’re still voting for him,'” she said.
Geary, 55, was known for his straight talking and served on the local council. He polled 285 votes to his rival’s 85.
Local business owners said the vote to elect Geary was as a protest against the current mayor, Barbara Brock.
“I knew he was deceased. I know that sounds stupid, but we wanted someone other than her,” said Chris Rogers, owner of the town’s Lunch Box restaurant.
“If he were to run again next week I’d vote for him again.”
Town officials said four councillors will now decide who becomes mayor.
Barbara Brock, who lost out to the dead rival, had campaigned on her efforts to beautify the Tracy City which has a population of 1600 and is 80 miles from Nashville.
She said she was shocked that the town would vote for someone who is “pushing up the daisies” rather than planting them.