Tyler Kistner campaign to intervene in CD2 election date lawsuit

CD2 candidate Tyler Kistner announced his campaign will intervene in his opponent Rep. Angie Craig's lawsuit to keep the postponed election on Election Day. (Tyler Kistner Campaign)

The Republican candidate for Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District Tyler Kistner said Thursday his campaign will intervene in Rep. Angie Craig’s lawsuit to ensure the election is held as normal in November.

Craig 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 release Thursday, Kistner said Craig’s lawsuit is an attempt to “silence and disenfranchise Minnesotan voters from a major political party.”

Kistner affirmed his commitment to uphold the 2013 law postponing the election to February.

“My campaign will be intervening in the Craig campaign’s lawsuit to ensure the bipartisan law is upheld and that the election proceeds in February, giving a voice to every Second District voter,” he said.

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.

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.