Jackson's Gap Voters Re-elect Deceased Mayor


By Lisa Blackwell

In Wednesday's municipal elections, Janis Canham won another term as the mayor of Jackson's Gap.
But Canham died in July after complications from surgery, yet she still got almost twice as many votes as her opponent.

That has many wondering why and what happens now.
A state law requires that even if a person dies...their name must stay on the ballot. That way no one can kill a candidate to prevent them from winning. Now it's up to the city council or the governor to fill the seat. .

For some residents a yes vote for Janis Canham was really a no vote for her opponent Michael Crouch.  

Canham's niece Terri Anne McCreight says it was her aunt's last wish.

"She really did not think she could complete the job as sick as she was but she wanted to get elected so that the town council could select someone as mayor because she knew the guy running against her wouldn't be able to do the job," said McCreight.

Candace Crocker voted for Canham too.

"I didn't like the way he campaigned there was a lot of mudslinging," said Crocker.

Martha Morris says she voted yes to honor the late mayor.

"We just made that choice to give her that legacy and then let the council choose," said Morris.

Now The decision is up to city leaders. Councilman Josh Patterson say on November 5, the start of the new term, the council will declare the position vacant.

"If a person deceased is elected then the town council will appoint the mayor if the council fails to do so than the governor will appoint a mayor," said Patterson.

He thinks many of them already have someone in mind.

"A lot of them may have a good idea of who they want to fill the position I'm sure they will have to do a lot of thinking," said Patterson.

He says the council has some big shoes to fill. Canham was trying to bring a Dollar General Store to town and the new person will need to pick up where she left off.

The council has 60 days from November 5th to choose a new mayor.