As COVID-19 cases surge in North Dakota, the disease has claimed a candidate for state Legislature touted as a "Trump Republican."

But he'll still be on the ballot.

David Andahl, 55, of Bismarck, died of the disease Oct. 5. His name will still be on the ballot as a Republican in the November election for a seat in the state House of Representatives in the Eighth District, according to a spokeswoman for the North Dakota Secretary of State's Office.

Andahl, a rancher and land developer, won a heated primary earlier this year against state Rep. Jeff Delzer, a powerful committee chairman.

He garnered endorsements from North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer, who proclaimed his backing of Andahl "because we need more Trump Republicans in the State Legislature."

Over the past week, North Dakota has reported the most new cases of COVID-19 and the most deaths from COVID-19 per capita in the nation, according to reporting by the New York Times.

If Andahl wins the election, the state Republican Party will be allowed to appoint his replacement, according to the spokeswoman.

John Reinan • 612-673-7402