The death of Legal Marijuana Now Party candidate Adam Charles Weeks is forcing Minnesota to delay its Second Congressional District election until February 9, the Star Tribune reports. Under state law, “if a major party nominee dies within 79 days of Election Day a special election must be held on the second Tuesday of February,” Secretary of State Steve Simon said in a statement following Weeks’ death.
Kevin O’Connor, the Legal Marijuana Now candidate for U.S. Senate, called Weeks’ death at 38-years-old “a sad and sudden thing.” Weeks, an organic farmer from Red Wing, was facing off against Democratic U.S. Rep. Angie Craig and Republican candidate Tyler Kistner in what is expected to be one of the more competitive congressional races in Minnesota.
In a statement, Craig said she was “deeply saddened to hear the tragic news” of Weeks’ passing.
Kistner called Weeks “a passionate advocate for the causes he believed in.”
Simon indicated the Legal Marijuana Now Party has until November 10 to choose a replacement for Weeks. Dennis Schuller, with the Legal Marijuana Now Party, said the party has not determined who would be the candidate on February ballots but that the party would meet in the next couple of weeks to choose a replacement.
Voters in the state can still cast their ballot for the U.S. House race on mail-in ballots or at the polls, but those votes will not count. Craig’s term ends January 3 and the seat will remain vacant until after the winner of the February election is sworn in.
In 2018, the Legal Marijuana Now Party garnered 5 percent of the vote statewide, pushing it to major-party status in the state.
A Minnesota Reformer report in June found that Republican operatives had recruited GOP-leaning candidates for the Legal Marijuana Now Party line – including Weeks who had supported President Donald Trump and Republicans in both the 2016 and 2018 election cycles. In an interview with the Reformer, Weeks walked back his support of Trump, saying he was “wrong” about his support for the president.
Legal Marijuana Now Party candidate for State Senate Robyn Smith, said that while she believes cannabis should be legalized, her social media campaign focuses on supporting Trump and other right-wing causes, according to the Reformer report. Tyler Becvar, who is vying for Democrat Sen. Dan Sparks’ seat under the Legal Marijuana Now Party banner is also a Trump supporter and his Facebook page contains posts attacking Democrats and spreading conspiracies about George Soros, a longtime donor to Democrats, and the party, according to the report.
Marty Super, outgoing chair of Legal Marijuana Now Party, said that the fledgling party was concerned about it being coopted once it achieved major-party status because anyone can file for candidacy under the banner without having to collect signatures to get on the ballot.
Do you work for a cannabis brand? Take our 5-minute survey to help us report on the industry: Click Here