Adam Weeks

Adam Weeks, Legal Marijuana Now Party’s Minnesota 2nd Congressional District candidate, has died, setting up a special February election. (Weeks for Congress photo)

Adam Weeks, who was running for Congress in Minnesota’s 2nd District as the Legal Marijuana Now Party candidate, has died.

Dennis Schuller, Legal Marijuana Now Party treasurer, confirmed Weeks’s death and said a statement from the family would be coming soon. He said Weeks was “passionate in his pursuit and we’ll miss him.”

A cause of death was not immediately reported.

Weeks is a 2000 Northfield High School graduate.

Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon said that Week’s death pushes off the CD2 election until February.

“I want to offer condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Weeks,” Simon wrote in a prepared statement. “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. 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 battleground 2nd District includes east and south metro suburbs, as well as exurbs and farmland, and has been a political bellwether since 2016, when former GOP Rep. Jason Lewis narrowly defeated Craig, who then beat Lewis in a 2018 rematch.

National Democratic and Republican groups have already invested heavily in the 2nd District. A February special election could see massive amounts of resources poured into the race, which will be either the first of a new president’s term, or the first of President Trump’s second term.

Special elections are often unpredictable, low turnout affairs. Because a new Congress will be in session in January, Craig won’t be in office when district voters come out during the wintry special election.

Dennis Schuller, Legal Marijuana Now Party treasurer, said the party was still processing the news and will consider its options in the race at its next regularly scheduled meeting on Oct. 4.

Simon said a special election would be held regardless if Legalize Marijuana Now puts up a candidate. The party achieved major political party status in 2018 after its candidate for state auditor garnered more than 5% of the vote. Absentee ballots would be available as early as late December, he said in an interview.

David Schultz, an election law expert and professor at the University of Minnesota Law School, said Minnesota law changed after the sudden death of former U.S. Sen. Paul Wellstone, who died in 2002, less than two weeks before the election.

“That’s the reason for the law here,” Schultz said. “We have so many absentee ballots already mailed out now, how do we handle that situation, where we now no longer have that person on the ballot?”

Weeks was a farmer in Goodhue County, according to his biography posted on his campaign website. In recent months, he has expressed his support for the Black Lives Matter movement, saying on his campaign platform that “you need to strongly consider that the drug war is the weapon that police use most often to harass minorities.”

Weeks was found dead by Red Wing police officers who were called at 7:08 p.m. Tuesday to conduct a welfare check, said Police Chief Roger Pohlman. They arrived at a home in the 1000 block of Bush Street in Red Wing, and found Weeks. His body was released to the Southern Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner’s Office, Pohlman said, who added that the case remains under investigation.

In a statement, Craig, reacted to the news.

“I was deeply saddened to hear the tragic news of Adam Weeks’ passing earlier this week,” Craig said. “Cheryl and I are praying for the Weeks family during this difficult time.”

Tyler Kistner, the GOP-endorsed candidate seeking to unseat Craig, also expressed condolences in a statement.

“I am saddened to hear that Adam Weeks has passed away,” Kistner said. “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.”

I live in CD2. What should I do?

Eligible voters in the 2nd Congressional district should continue to vote. If you have already voted absentee, either in person at your county elections office or by mail, you do not need to request a new ballot. Ballots will not be changed prior to the Nov. 3 election. While the 2nd Congressional District race will still appear on the ballot, the votes in that race will not be counted.

The Office has reached out to local elections officials with guidance on sharing information about next steps for the February 2021 special election.Find Weeks’ obituary here.

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