Third party candidate dies weeks before close Minnesota congressional race

A third-party contender in a close Minnesota congressional race has died only weeks before Election Day.

Legal Marijuana Now candidate Paula Overby, 68, died of a heart valve issue, Axios reported.

Third-party candidate in Minnesota dies

The news was confirmed by Overby’s son Tyler, who said Overby was “really passionate about bringing minor parties together.”

The race for the suburban 2nd district is considered one of the most expensive and competitive in the whole country, CBS reported.

Democrats had accused Overby, the first openly transgender person to run for Congress in Minnesota, of being a “Republican spoiler” candidate, a charge Overby had called a “false narrative.” When Overby ran in 2016, claiming eight percent of the vote share, Republican Rep. Jason Lewis narrowly defeated Democrat Angie Craig.

Craig, now the incumbent, shared her condolences upon hearing of Overby’s sudden passing.

“Minnesota is better for her involvement in our community and she will be missed.”

The election will proceed as normal

The Republican candidate Tyler Kistner said Overby “cared deeply about our state, and the principles she believed in.”

Overby’s death echoes the sudden passing of Adam Weeks, also a Legal Marijuana Now candidate, just weeks before the 2nd district election in 2020. After a court ruling, the election was held as usual.

Minnesota’s Secretary of State said that Overby will remain on the ballot and the election will proceed normally, citing the court decision in 2020.

“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,” the statement said.

“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.”