Candidate in Minnesota congressional race dies, forcing special election

RiverNorthPhotography/iStockBy ARIELLE MITROPOULOS, ABC News

(SAINT PAUL, Minn.) — A third-party candidate running in Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District died and now the district will have to hold a special election in February to decide the race, Secretary of State Steve Simon announced Thursday.

Adam Charles Weeks, a 38-year-old organic vegetable farmer from Goodhue was the Legal Marijuana Now Party candidate. He died unexpectedly on Monday. Dennis Schuller, the party’s treasurer, told ABC News that Weeks’ cause of death is still unknown.

Weeks was set to face off against Rep. Angie Craig, D-Minn., and Republican challenger Tyler Kistner, who have each offered their condolences to Weeks’ family on Twitter.

The Nov. 3 ballots will not be changed prior to Election Day, but the votes for the House race itself will not be counted in accordance with Minnesota law. Instead, an updated ballot will be issued for the special election in February.

“The law is clear on what happens next,” Simon said in a 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.”

Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District comprises the southern Twin Cities metro area. President Donald Trump narrowly carried the district by 1.2 points in 2016 over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The district, however, flipped to blue in 2018, and has been of particular interest to Republicans as they push to turn the state red. From 2001 to 2018, the district was represented by Republicans. In 2018, Craig, the first openly lesbian mother in Congress, defeated incumbent Jason Lewis by five points.

Craig’s current Republican challenger, Tyler Kistner, a U.S. Marine veteran, has vocally supported the president’s agenda and backed his law-and-order message.

Weeks described his top issues as criminal justice reform and marijuana legalization, according to his campaign website. His platform advocated for an “end to the war on drugs,” and he had voiced his support for Black Lives Matter.

Weeks was a “candidate who was trying to make a difference in the world,” Schuller said, adding that he was a “bright, hard working person” who was “passionate about his causes.”

Schuller told ABC News that the party will meet in the next few weeks to decide how they might move forward given the special election.

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