Minnesota congressional candidate dies Oct. 5; 2nd District election will still take place on Nov. 8

Paula Overby—the Legal Marijuana Now Party candidate in Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District—died on Oct. 5. Axios Twin Cities reported that Overby died “following complications related to a failing heart valve.” That day, Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon said that the congressional election will proceed as scheduled on Nov. 8 and Overby’s name will still appear on the ballot.

This is the second time in as many election cycles that the Legal Marijuana Now Party candidate running in Minnesota’s 2nd District died before the general election but after ballots had been printed. Adam Weeks died on Sept. 21, 2020, 43 days before the general election on Nov. 3, 2020. Minnesota originally postponed the election to Feb. 9, 2021, in accordance with a state law which moves elections to the second Tuesday in February if a major party nominee dies within 79 days of the original election date.

On Sept. 28, 2020, Rep. Angie Craig (D) filed a lawsuit challenging the election postponement, alleging it violated federal law, and on Oct. 9, 2020, federal district court Judge Wilhelmina M. Wright ruled that the election should be held in November as originally scheduled. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals declined to suspend Wright’s decision on Oct. 23, 2020, and the U.S. Supreme Court upheld that ruling on Oct. 27, 2020.

In 2020, Weeks received 24, 751 votes, or 5.8% of the total cast in the 2nd District race, as Craig defeated Tyler Kistner (R), 48.2% to 45.9%. Craig and Kistner are both running in 2022 in a rematch of last cycle’s race.

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