Dead man elected in Vermont after death info withheld

AP News
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Posted: Mar 06, 2015 11:34 AM

UNDERHILL, Vt. (AP) — A Vermont man who died the day before a town meeting vote was elected to serve on the select board after officials withheld information about the death citing state campaign laws.

Kevin Tarrant, 55, collapsed at his home in Underhill on Monday morning.

Because of the campaign laws and out of respect for the family, voters were not told Tuesday of his death, and Tarrant was elected to a three-year term. The town clerk said that campaigning or discussing candidates within a polling place is prohibited by state law. The annual town meeting took place in the gym at the Browns River School, which has voting booths. Announcing Tarrant's death at the meeting could be seen as urging voters to vote a certain way.

Catherine Tarrant told the Burlington Free Press (http://bfpne.ws/1BeYVXg) that her late husband, who served in the military for 24 years and also flew for United Airlines, had been looking forward to running for the select board.

The board is now trying to figure out how to fill the seat.

Select Board member Dave Rogers said Thursday that the town has a number of options. It could appoint somebody to fill the seat; recruit applications from interested residents and then appoint one of them; or hold a special election.

The board expects to appoint somebody by late next week and has the option of calling for a vote, select board members said.

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Information from: The Burlington Free Press, http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com