Election night took a tragic turn for Town Council candidate David "Red" Worrall, who collapsed at an Indiana polling station and later died at the hospital, The Messenger News reported. The GOP candidate was a current candidate and former member of the Clarksville, Indiana, town council.
Worrall, a local businessman who owned a machine and automotive shop in Clarksville, was only 59 years old. He was greeting voters at the time when he suffered a medical emergency and collapsed.
"We will never forget his passion for public service and his unwavering desire to create positive change in our town," a post from local leaders said on X, formerly Twitter. "David's memory will live on in the hearts of those who knew him and the community he strived to serve," they added.
The GOP candidate had previously stepped down from the job due to health issues, People Magazine reported. However, at the urging of "several groups of people" who encouraged him to return to the council, Worrall decided to campaign again.
He said he felt like he was now "up to the task of making another run." Unfortunately, Worrall would not live to see the results of his hard work as he passed away before the votes were ever counted.
It's clear from an earlier interview that the former councilman and lifelong resident had a love for Clarksville. When asked what he'd like to change, he replied, "Really can’t answer that question, love this town and wouldn’t live anywhere else."
Worrall was one of five candidates running for two open positions on the council. The winners of that contest both released statements of condolences following his death.
"Please say a prayer for his mom, brother and sister, family and all his close friends. He was a close and very dear friend who I greatly miss!!! RIP Red!!" GOP councilwoman Jennifer Voignier, who won her reelection, posted to Facebook on election night.
Democratic Councilman-elect Bob McEwen similarly took to Facebook to remember Worrall. "Yesterday is still a blur in my mind. While working at the poll with family and friends of both parties we were reminded how fragile life can be," McEwen said on Facebook Wednesday.
"Our community will not forget the good things Red epitomized about our community. His love of family, love of friends, and a love and pride of the town we all call home," McEwen added.
This is not the first time a candidate has died on election day. Small-town Louisiana Mayor Velma Hendrix passed away following a car crash on Nov. 8, 2022, KKTV-TV reported.
The 84-year-old incumbent mayor of Melville was involved in a two-vehicle crash in the late morning on the day she vied for reelection. Hendrix was in the vehicle's rear and not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident.
The car she was riding in, a 2008 Acura RDX, was hit by a 2015 Dodge Ram 2400 pickup truck that failed to yield as it crossed the highway in front of her vehicle. There were no drugs or alcohol involved in the crash.
Politicians are not immune from such tragedies despite their high profile. Life is fleeting as it is, but tragedies have a way of happening when they're least expected.