Paula Overby, Legal Marijuana Now Party candidate in 2nd District, dies

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Paula Overby, the Legal Marijuana Now Party candidate running against Democratic Rep. Angie Craig and Republican Tyler Kistner in Minnesota's 2nd Congressional District, has died, her family confirms.

Overby's son told WCCO she died of heart complications on Wednesday.

Overby's campaign website touts her core tenets as opposition to war, ending "corporate profiteering" in American health care and restoring the country's working class.

The rematch in the 2nd Congressional District between incumbent Craig and Kistner is among the most competitive in the nation, according to nonpartisan polling. It's drawing national attention and money.

Minnesota statutes state that if a candidate dies within 79 days of a general election, "the general election ballot shall remain unchanged, but the county and state canvassing boards must not certify the vote totals for that office from the general election, and the office must be filled at a special election held in accordance with this section."

Election Day is Nov. 8. It's unclear what will happen with the 2nd District election.

Two years ago, 2nd District Legal Marijuana Party Now candidate Adam Weeks died shortly before the election. The election was initially postponed until February, but Craig filed a lawsuit to ask the courts to let the race proceed in the November election. A judge ruled in Craig's favor, and voters elected her in November. Kistner sought to have the election delayed, but his appeal was unsuccessful.


Sec. of State Simon: "Congressional District 2 election will proceed as scheduled"

The office of Secretary of State Steve Simon says that the plan will be to go forward with the 2nd Congressional District election as scheduled in November.

When, in 2020, 2nd District Legal Marijuana Party Now candidate Adam Weeks died shortly before the election, the election was similarly held on Election Day as scheduled.

"In 2021, a federal district court ruled that Minnesota's statute governing vacancies in nomination is preempted by federal law and does not apply to a race for U.S. Congress," Simon's office said in a statement. "In the absence of any other court order, the November 8, 2022 ballots will remain as printed, and the Congressional District 2 election will proceed as scheduled on November 8, 2022."

By WCCO Staff

Craig, Kistner react to Overby's death

Incumbent Rep. Angie Craig and Republican candidate Tyler Kistner have released statements reacting to Paula Overby's death.

"Cheryl and I were saddened to hear of Paula Overby's passing this morning, and we are sending our deepest condolences to Paula's family and friends at this difficult time," Craig said. "Minnesota is better for her involvement in our community and she will be missed."  

"This is a very sad day for Minnesota's Second District. Paula Overby cared deeply about our state, and the principles she believed in. It was an honor to have gotten to know Paula throughout this campaign. My thoughts and prayers go out to Paula's family and friends during this difficult time," Kistner said. "Out of respect for the Overby family, my campaign will be postponing all public events for the next 48 hours, including today's press conference at the Minnesota State Capitol. "

Minnesota DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin also released a statement.

"I was shocked and saddened to learn of the sudden passing of Paula Overby," Martin said. "I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to Paula's friends, family, and loved ones during this extremely difficult time. My prayers are with them, and I hope memories of Paula's passion and tenacity bring them some solace in their grief."  

By WCCO Staff

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