A state senator admired by voters, fellow lawmakers and her opponent, died last month but was the top vote-getter Tuesday night.
Pat Ward, a Republican from Clive, had been seeking re-election in Senate District 22 when she died Oct. 15 after a three-year battle with breast cancer. Ward was running against Desmund Adams, an attorney from West Des Moines.
According to unofficial results from the Polk County Auditor's office, Ward won that segment of the district, garnering 8,754 votes to Adams' 7,919.
With 34 of 35 precincts counted (minus absentee ballots), Ward had 10,265 votes to Adams' 6,651 votes.
The district includes Waukee, Clive, Windsor Heights and part of West Des Moines.
A special election will be held Dec. 11 between Adams and a yet-to-be-chosen Republican candidate. Ward's husband, John, announced last week that he is seeking the nomination to carry on his wife's campaign.
Adams temporarily suspended his campaign after Ward's death.
According to Iowa Code, if a party loses a candidate within 88 days of an election, a new candidate must be chosen in their place. That meant that Ward's name remained on the ballot along with Adams' and voters could still vote for either candidate. Votes for Ward and Adams were still counted and released but no winner was declared. The election is essentially void.
The Republican Party will hold a special nominating convention Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Republican Party of Iowa Headquarters, 621 E. Ninth St. in Des Moines. During that time, representatives from parts of Polk and Dallas County will receive nominations for a GOP candidate to replace Ward.
The Republican Party has until 5 p.m. on Nov. 13 to submit a name to appear on the December special election ballot.
If you cast a vote for either Ward or Adams for the general election, you will need to vote again on Dec. 11 in order for your vote to be official.