Among the candidates on this fall’s ballot, in several of the biggest races, are a slate of candidates focused primarily on a single issue: legalizing marijuana.
Seven candidates with the Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis Party secured the required number of voters’ signatures to get on the ballot in the races for governor, state attorney general, state auditor, U.S. Senate, and the Fourth Congressional District seat. (Minor party candidates for statewide office and the U.S. Senate need 2,000 signatures for ballot access; for U.S. House races, it’s 1,000.)
On the list are some veteran candidates, including Chris Wright of Minneapolis, making his fourth run for governor. Wright, who works for a tech support company and previously ran a computer repair shop, helped found the Grassroots Party and Minnesota NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) in the mid-1980s.
On his website, Wright says he’s mounting another campaign because while other states have changed their policies on marijuana, Minnesota’s laws have remained largely the same in the decades since he began working on the issue.
He said residents “barely have a right to medical marijuana. That has to change.”
Other Grassroots candidates on the ballot are Dennis Schuller, who will run against U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar; Sarah Wellington, challenging U.S. Sen. Tina Smith; Michael Ford, running for state auditor; Noah M. Johnson, running for attorney general; Susan Pendergast Sindt, vying for U.S. representative in the Fourth District; and Judith Schwartzbacker, Wright’s running mate in the governor’s race.