Election in Minnesota’s 2nd District delayed after death of third-party candidate

The November election in Minnesota’s 2nd District, and those voters’ representation in Congress early next year, got thrown into chaos Thursday after the reported death of a third-party candidate. A state official, citing state law, said the House election would be held early next year. 

Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon issued a statement Thursday saying Adam Weeks, the Legal Marijuana Now Party candidate running for the seat currently held by freshman Democratic Rep. Angie Craig, had died. 

“The law is clear on what happens next,” Simon said in the statement. “If a major party nominee dies within 79 days of Election Day; a special election will be held for that office on the second Tuesday of February (February 9, 2021).”

Although some political observers questioned whether the Legal Marijuana Now Party constituted a major party, it appeared that the election would be postponed until early February. That seems to mean that the district would not have a representative in the House during the potentially crucial first weeks of the 117th Congress. 

The Secretary of State’s Office advised voters in the district to continue to vote and noted that for those who had already voted early, they did not need to request a new ballot. However, votes for the House seat cast in the November elections “will not be counted,” according to the statement.