For politicians, getting elected is a huge problem. They need to spend a lot of money and effort to get elected, to convince a whole set of cynical people that they are indeed there for a good cause, and will do good once they are elected. What could make it easier for them is if it turns out that the current incumbent is widely disliked, and then people would welcome somebody new. Even then, it is a stretch to imagine that people would vote for a candidate who has died before the election, but whose name remains on the list of candidates. Think about how widely disliked the current mayor would have been to lose to a dead candidate (link to article):
Carl Geary died a month ago from a heart attack as he campaigned to be elected mayor of Tracy City, Tennessee; despite his sudden death, he still polled over three times as many votes as his rival, a media report said. His widow, Susan Geary, said his election "was not a surprise at all to me". "The day he passed away, people were calling with condolences and saying, 'We're still voting for him'," she said.
Local business owners said the vote to elect Geary was as a protest against the current mayor, Barbara Brock. "I knew he was deceased. I know that sounds stupid but we wanted someone other than her. If he were to run again next week I'd vote for him again," Chris Rogers, owner of Lunch Box restaurant, told local newspaper the 'Chattanooga Times'.