The general election for Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District has been postponed after the death of Legal Marijuana Now Party candidate Adam Weeks. A special election for the seat is scheduled for February 9, 2021.
According to Minnesota law, if a major party candidate dies within 79 days of the general election, a special election must be held. The Legal Marijuana Now Party is qualified as a major party in Minnesota.
The race for MN-02 will still appear on the November 3 ballot. However, any votes cast on November 3 will not count, according to the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office. The outcome of the February special election will determine who wins the seat.
The current candidates in the race—incumbent Angie Craig (D) and Tyler Kistner (R)—automatically qualify for the special election. The Legal Marijuana Now Party will have the chance to select a new candidate.
Passed in 2013, the state law requiring the special election was inspired by the 2002 U.S. Senate race in Minnesota. Democratic incumbent Paul Wellstone died in a plane crash weeks before the general election. The Democratic Party nominated former Vice President Walter Mondale as a replacement candidate, but he was defeated by Republican Norm Coleman.
Angie Craig’s term ends on January 3, 2021. That means that Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District will be without a representative in the House until the winner of the special election assumes office.
As of September 2020, 11 special elections have been called during the 116th Congress. From the 113th Congress to the 115th Congress, 40 special elections were held.