It’s not exactly how anyone imagines they’ll become a candidate for office.
No news conference. No fancy rollout or fresh headshots.
No, Paula Overby’s entrance in Minnesota’s Second Congressional District race was announced unceremoniously in a court filing last week from the Legal Marijuana Now Party, which sought to intervene in a lawsuit triggered by the unexpected death of Adam Weeks, the party’s original endorsed candidate.
Weeks’ death triggered a state law that postpones the election until February. But incumbent DFL Rep. Angie Craig sued to hold the election as planned on Nov. 3, when President Donald Trump will be on the ballot. The Republican and Legal Marijuana Now parties wanted to wait for a special election. But a federal judge ruled Friday that federal law requires the election to go on as scheduled on Nov. 3.
If the ruling stands on appeal, Weeks’ name stays on the ballots, which have already been in use since early voting started Sept. 18. But if it were to go to February, Overby could change the dynamic of the race. In 2016 she was the Independence Party candidate in the Second District, garnering nearly 8% of the vote in a race that Craig lost to former GOP Rep. Jason Lewis by less than 2 percentage points. Craig beat Lewis two years later by more than five points, with no third-party candidate in the race.