Pardon us while we geek out for a moment…
The fourth season of The West Wing featured an intriguing plot device to allow Rob Lowe to leave the cast of the show. To make this happen, Aaron Sorkin created a storyline in which unseen California Democrat Horton Wilde suffered his fourth heart attack and Lowe’s Sam Seaborn decided to run in his place. The arc takes place over half a season and introduces us to Will Bailey, who ran the dead Democrat’s campaign…on the issues. It’s great stuff.
Jenny Oropeza was running for California State Senate when she died last month. Despite not having a pulse, Oropeza beat her Republican challenger John Stammreich, comfortably too, by a margin of 58 percent to 36 percent. Either her district really liked what she stood for, or they really don’t care for this Stammreich feller.
Oropeza, sadly, died just two weeks ago, on October 20, and unfortunately it was too late to replace her on the ballot for the state’s 28th Senate district (parts of Long Beach, Los Angeles and the South Bay). At issue is a controversial mailer that Democrats sent out in the week before the election, which urges voters to cast their ballots for Oropeza to trigger a special election. Republicans filed a complaint, but perhaps voters were swayed by it. She won handily.
Get ready for a special election to replace the deceased incumbent. RIP.