Senator Who Lost Battle with Breast Cancer Could Be 'Winner' on Election Day

Iowa state Sen. Pat Ward died from breast cancer during Breast Cancer Awareness Month but her name remains on the ballot.

An Iowa state senator who lost her battle with breast cancer during Breast Cancer Awareness month could still be a winner in her last election.

Sen. Pat Ward died Oct. 15, weeks after voting began in Iowa. Since then, campaign signs for her have remained in lots and yards around central Iowa, the pink ribbons signifying awareness pinned to her name.

Whether Ward gets the most votes or not, the results will be announced -- and then immediately scrapped. 

The race for Senate District 22 -- covering Clive, Waukee, West Des Moines and Windsor Heights -- will instead begin again with a special election set for Dec. 11.

According to Iowa Code, Ward's name remained on the ballot along with Adams' -- in fact, early voting meant votes were already cast for both candidates. Iowans will still cast their votes in the race, and the ballots will be counted -- but they won't count.

Instead, the Republican Party will hold a special nominating convention Thursday in Des Moines. During that time, representatives from parts of Polk and Dallas County will receive nominations for a new 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. Her husband, John Ward, has announced he would seek the Senate seat.


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