Paula Overby, a candidate for the Legal Marijuana Now party running in the pivotal Minnesota Second Congressional District, has passed away.
Overby’s son, Tyler, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that she died at the age of 68, calling his mother an “extroverted introvert” who “was always selfless.”
Her death marks the second time in consecutive cycles where the Legal Marijuana Now candidate died within weeks of the election. In 2020, nominee Adam Weeks died in September before the election, where Democratic Rep. Angie Craig won re-election by just 2% over Republican Tyler Kistner. Weeks still won 6% of the vote.
Weeks’ death sparked a flurry of legal challenges related to state law that appeared to mandate a new election in February. Craig ultimately won a bid to keep the election as is, and the Supreme Court declined Kistner’s appeal.
So it’s against that backdrop that this year’s election is expected to go on as planned. The 2020 election results suggest her spot on the ballot could still pull a significant amount of votes despite her passing in a rematch between Craig and Kistner.
Legal Marijuana Party Chair Tim Davis told MPR News’ Brian Bakst that it’s unclear whether the party will pick a replacement candidate so close to the election.