Rep. Angie Craig files lawsuit arguing postponed 2nd District election should proceed as normal

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 29: Rep. Angie Craig (D-MN) speaks during news conference discussing the "Shutdown to End All Shutdowns (SEAS) Act" on January 29, 2019 in Washington, DC. Also pictured is Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN). (Photo by Zach Gibson/Gett ((Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images) / Getty Images)

Rep. Angie Craig has filed a federal lawsuit to ensure the state’s 2nd Congressional District election will proceed as normal this November after a Legal Marijuana Now Party candidate’s death led to its postponement last week.

Craig, along with Apple Valley resident Jenny Winslow Davies filed the lawsuit Monday arguing that the district needs to be represented after the November general election. Last week, following the death of Legal Marijuana Now Party candidate Adam Weeks, the Minnesota Secretary of State announced the race would be postponed until February per state law.

In a statement Monday, Craig said the 2nd Congressional District voters “deserve to have a voice fighting for them in Washington,” and that the February special election would “deprive Minnesotans of their seat at the table at a time when critical legislation affecting our state will be debated,” she added.

According to Minnesota law, if a major party nominee dies within 79 days of Election Day, a special election is to be held for that office on the second Tuesday in February. The Legal Marijuana Now Party just earned "major party" status last year after one of its candidates met the 5 percent of the vote threshold in a statewide election.

Democrat Rep. Angie Craig is the incumbent in the Second Congressional District. Her remaining challenger is Republican Tyler Kistner.

Craig does not retain the congressional seat until the special election, a spokeswoman for the Secretary of State confirmed. Instead, the seat will be vacant for more than a month, from the January start of the new term until the February special election.

The special election will be held Feb. 9, 2021.

Voters in the Second Congressional District should continue to vote this fall, Simon said. All votes on their ballots will still count, except for those cast for the Second Congressional District race.