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4 Dead Politicians Who Still Got Elected

California State Senator Jenny Oropeza easily won re-election yesterday – despite having passed away back on October 20th from complications caused by a blood clot. Although the illness left her largely absent from the campaign trail, Oropeza still managed to claim victory by a 58%-36% margin.

Oropeza’s story is rare, but certainly not unprecedented in the history of American elections. Here are a few recent examples of people who refused to let death stand in the way of electoral victory:

1. Missouri Senator Mel Carnahan

Missouri Governor Mel Carnahan famously won election to the Senate in Missouri in 2000 – 38 days after passing away in a plane crash that also claimed the lives of his son and a campaign advisor. Carnahan beat incumbent Senator John Ashcroft - who would soon move on to serve as U.S. Attorney General for President George W. Bush. Carnahan’s wife filled his spot in the Senate until a 2002 special election.

2. Tracy City Mayor Carl Geary

Earlier this year, voters in the small town of Tracy City, Tennessee, handed Carl Geary an overwhelming 285-85 victory in the city’s mayoral race – ousting incumbent Barbara Brock in the process. Geary was unable to accept, of course, because he’d passed away of a heart attack a month before the election.

To some voters, Geary's victory seemed to be a tribute of sorts; to others, it was a lesser-of-two-evils decision. In a Telegraph story on the vote, Geary’s wife Susan is quoted as saying “The day he passed away, people were calling with condolences and saying, 'We're still voting for him.'”

“I knew he was deceased," said another voter. "I know that sounds stupid, but we wanted someone other than [Brock].” Interestingly, Brock had been appointed mayor less than two years earlier, when the sitting mayor died of a heart attack.

3. Winfield Mayor Harry Stonebraker

Missouri voters were at it again in 2009 when the town of Winfield’s recently deceased incumbent mayor Harry Stonebraker won a 4th term with a staggering 90% of the vote. According to the NY Daily News, Stonebraker’s death from a heart attack only seemed to bolster the popularity he’d garnered, in part, by helping citizens recover from a flood that had ravaged the town the year before.

For his part, Stonebraker’s opponent, Bernie Panther, was completely unable to convince people that he was a better option than their dearly-departed hero – and received only 23 total votes as a result.

4. U.S. Representative Patsy Mink

Patsy Mink was a trailblazing politician who served the state of Hawaii for 12 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. According to the National Women’s Hall of Fame, in 1964 Mink became “the first woman of color elected to the national legislature and the first Asian-American congresswoman.” After a stint serving in the President Carter’s administration and as a member of the Honolulu City Council, Mink returned to the U.S House of Representatives in 1990 – serving until she died of pneumonia weeks before election day in 2002. A few weeks after receiving a state funeral, Mink was honored once again when the voters of Hawaii re-elected her to Congress – a seat that was re-assigned a few months later after a special election.

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travel
The Real Bay of Pigs: Big Major Cay in the Bahamas
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When most people visit the Bahamas, they’re thinking about a vacation filled with sun, sand, and swimming—not swine. But you can get all four of those things if you visit Big Major Cay.

Big Major Cay, also now known as “Pig Island” for obvious reasons, is part of the Exuma Cays in the Bahamas. Exuma includes private islands owned by Johnny Depp, Tyler Perry, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, and David Copperfield. Despite all of the local star power, the real attraction seems to be the family of feral pigs that has established Big Major Cay as their own. It’s hard to say how many are there—some reports say it’s a family of eight, while others say the numbers are up to 40. However big the band of roaming pigs is, none of them are shy: Their chief means of survival seems to be to swim right up to boats and beg for food, which the charmed tourists are happy to provide (although there are guidelines about the best way of feeding the pigs).

No one knows exactly how the pigs got there, but there are plenty of theories. Among them: 1) A nearby resort purposely released them more than a decade ago, hoping to attract tourists. 2) Sailors dropped them off on the island, intending to dine on pork once they were able to dock for a longer of period of time. For one reason or another, the sailors never returned. 3) They’re descendants of domesticated pigs from a nearby island. When residents complained about the original domesticated pigs, their owners solved the problem by dropping them off at Big Major Cay, which was uninhabited. 4) The pigs survived a shipwreck. The ship’s passengers did not.

The purposeful tourist trap theory is probably the least likely—VICE reports that the James Bond movie Thunderball was shot on a neighboring island in the 1960s, and the swimming swine were there then.

Though multiple articles reference how “adorable” the pigs are, don’t be fooled. One captain warns, “They’ll eat anything and everything—including fingers.”

Here they are in action in a video from National Geographic:

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Pop Culture
The House From The Money Pit Is For Sale

Looking for star-studded new digs? For a cool $5.9 million, Top10RealEstateDeals.com reports, you can own the Long Island country home featured in the 1986 comedy The Money Pit—no renovations required.

For the uninitiated, the film features Tom Hanks and Shelley Long as hapless first-time homeowners who purchase a rundown mansion for cheap. The savings they score end up being paltry compared to the debt they incur while trying to fix up the house.

The Money Pit featured exterior shots of "Northway," an eight-bedroom estate located in the village of Lattingtown in Nassau County, New York. Luckily for potential buyers, its insides are far nicer than the fictional ones portrayed in the movie, thanks in part to extensive renovations performed by the property’s current owners.

Amenities include a giant master suite with a French-style dressing room, eight fireplaces, a "wine wall," and a heated outdoor saltwater pool. Check out some photos below, or view the entire listing here.

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

The real-life Long Island home featured in 1986's “The Money Pit”
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

The real-life Long Island home featured in 1986's “The Money Pit”
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

[h/t Top10RealEstateDeals.com]

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