Jim Langston faces a peculiar problem in his campaign for a water commissioner seat in his suburban Seattle hometown: his opponent is dead, but Langston could still lose.

The 70-year-old retired school teacher is running in King County Water District Number 54 in Des Moines, Wash.

KING-TV reports that Langston's rival died in August. Because that man was running unopposed at the time of filing, the late candidate's name is the only one on the ballot.

Langston entered the race when he learned about the death, but that was after the filing deadline expired. That means he must run as a write-in candidate and his name doesn't even appear in the King County voter's guide.

KING says that if the deceased candidate is elected, a successor would be appointed by other Water District members or the King County Council.