The election for Minnesota’s Second Congressional District will go forward on Nov. 3 after a trio of federal judges on Friday rejected a GOP push to postpone the election until February after the death of a marijuana party candidate.
A week and a half before Election Day, a three-judge panel of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals denied Republican candidate Tyler Kistner’s effort to delay the race against incumbent DFL Rep. Angie Craig.
Kistner said he plans to take his battle to the U.S. Supreme Court. But in the meantime, he urged voters to participate in the Nov. 3 election. Early voting began Sept. 18.
Craig said in a statement that the courts have spoken and now voters need to have their say.
The hotly contested battle over Craig’s seat was thrown into confusion after Legal Marijuana Now Party candidate Adam Charles Weeks died in September. Initially, Secretary of State Steve Simon said Minnesota law requires that the race be delayed until a special election in February.
Craig filed suit to block the delay, arguing federal law requires the race to be in November. She contends that a special election would leave residents in her district without representation at the Capitol for a month and a half in January and February, at what could be a critical decisionmaking time.
A federal judge in Minnesota agreed with Craig’s argument that federal law preempted the state statute, and granted a preliminary injunction switching the Second District race back to Election Day on Nov. 3.
Kistner appealed to rescind the injunction and uphold the state law that requires a special election in February. The Appeals Court judges denied the effort to lift the injunction.
“We do not think Kistner is likely to succeed on the merits of his contention that [the state law], as applied to the current situation, may coexist with the federal election law,” the judges stated Friday.