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Judge Rules Election For 2nd District Will Happen In November, Not Next Year

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A judge has ruled that the election for Minnesota's 2nd congressional district will take place on Election Day in November, following the death of one of that race's candidates in September.

Earlier, Democratic Congresswoman Angie Craig filed a lawsuit to ask the courts to let the 2nd District Congressional race proceed in the November election. This came after Legal Marijuana Now Party candidate Adam Weeks died.

Since Weeks' death happened so close to Election Day, and the party has "major party" status, state law called for a special election early next year — but that would mean the seat would be vacant for a short time.

"Today, a district court found that MN Statute 204B.13 is preempted by federal law as it is applied to the Second Congressional District race in the November 3, 2020 general election. Voters should continue to vote this race on their ballots, and pursuant to the district court ruling, those votes will be counted," Secretary of State Steve Simon said.

Craig is running for a second term against Republican Tyler Kistner, who issued a statement opposing Craig's suit to hold the election in November. Craig praised the ruling:

"In this case, the decision was clear – Minnesota does not have the authority to alter the date for federal elections. A February special election would have deprived the voters of the Second District of their seat at the table during a crucial period in Congress. This is an enormous victory for the people of the Second District, who will still have an opportunity to make their voices heard in this election. I am grateful that Judge Wright affirmed our position that federal law controls the date for federal elections.  The voters of Minnesota's Second Congressional District deserve representation in Congress next January and I look forward to November's election."

The Republican Party of Minnesota issued a statement on the ruling.

"Electioneering by federal judges this close to an election should never take place and we hope the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals will reverse this ruling to ensure our elections in Minnesota remain compliant, fair and in accordance with Minnesota State law," Jennifer Carnahan said.

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