Adam Weeks, who was running for Minnesota’s Second District as a member of the Legal Marijuana Now Party, has passed away. First reported by the Minnesota Reformer, Weeks’ death will trigger a special election due to Minnesota law, meaning votes cast in the general election for a congressional candidate in the Second District will not be counted.
“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,” Secretary of State Steve Simon said in a statement. “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).”
The Legal Marijuana Now Party is considered a “major party” because it received 5 percent of the vote in a statewide race in 2018.
Rep. Angie Craig, who currently holds the seat, will now not technically be running as an incumbent. Instead of joining the 117th Congressional Session, Craig will have to vacate her seat in January of 2021, and then run again in the special election in February. The House Clerk, Cheryl L. Johnson, will briefly take over constituent services for the office while the seat is vacant.
“The seat is vacant starting when the term ends in January,” said Risikat Adesaogun, Deputy Communications Director for Simon. “So a small window, but vacant nonetheless.”
Prior to this development, Craig’s seat had been leaning toward a safer Democratic district. Two major independent political rating organizations said as much: Cook Political Report rated her race Lean Democratic and Sabato’s Crystal Ball rated it as Likely Democratic.
When news broke of Weeks’ passing, Craig offered her condolences via Twitter.
“I was deeply saddened to hear the tragic news of Adam Weeks’ passing earlier this week. Cheryl and I are praying for the Weeks family during this difficult time,” Craig said in a statement.
Tyler Kistner, Craig’s endorsed Republican opponent, also offered his condolences.
“I am saddened to hear that Adam Weeks has passed away. Adam was a passionate advocate for the causes he believed in, and he will be missed by all those who knew him. We will be praying for Adam and his family and friends as they go through this difficult time.”
The Legal Marijuana Now Party will have to nominate a new candidate before the special election.