Minnesota and National Report
The announcement by Secretary of State Steve Simon (DFL-MN) of the death of 2nd Congressional District Legal Marijuana Now Party candidate Adam Weeks creates an interesting set of circumstances. Because of the changes in Minnesota Law in 2012, the 2nd Congressional District race is to be suspended to then be held on the 2nd Tuesday on February 9th, in order for the Legal Marijuana Now Party to field another candidate. This change in law was authored by Simon when he was a Representative in the state House and after the death of US Senator Paul Wellstone (D-MN) but it took 12 years for there to be a DFL majority to pass it..
This is all contingent upon this position remaining in force, though it may not stand the Constitutional test because Congress sets the dates of its own election as spelled out in Article I of the US Constitution. But, if it stands, this would mean Congresswoman Angie Craig (D-02) will serve until December 31, 2020 and then the seat will remain open until the election to fill it occurs. Turnout in 2018 was a sizable benefit to Craig who narrowly lost to Congressman Jason Lewis (R) in 2016 by 1.89%.
It also puts a significant reliance on Congressman Collin Peterson (D-MN07) being able to buck the Republican trendline in his district where in 2016, Donald J Trump (R) carried the district by 61.37%. If Peterson were to lose and Craig forced to sit out the January swearing in, and Minnesota’s electoral results under court challenge the possible scenario means we could be smack dab in the middle of the Constitutional crisis. Granted, this all is under the heading of a series of unintended consequences. Because if there isn’t an Electoral College vote and it falls to Congress, Peterson were to lose, and Craig not seated, and all incumbent Republicans win, they would hold a 4-3 edge, or if Craig were seated and Peterson were to lose and all Republicans win its a 4-4 tie and Minnesota doesn’t get to vote at all.
Here is Simon’s release:
Secretary Simon today released a statement following reports of the death of Adam Weeks, a Legal Marijuana Now Party candidate running for the U.S. House of Representatives seat in Minnesota’s Second Congressional District.
“I want to offer condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Weeks. The loss of any of us is a tragedy, and that’s felt especially in someone who has put his energy into a campaign to serve in public office,” said Secretary Simon. “The law is clear on what happens next. 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).”
Again, if the postponement holds, this also might be bad news for Republican candidate Tyler Kistner, because we would not be surprised to see Lewis decide to use his increased name recognition from a statewide race to once again seek his old Congressional seat after a loss on November 3rd. Also, he would be able to funnel money from that campaign to this new one, just as he was able to move money from his Congressional campaign into his Senate campaign.
It would we will not continue to see Craig riding around in her black jeep and Kistner telling us to send in the marine until after the holidays.