Adam Weeks, the Legal Marijuana Now Party candidate in Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District, has died, and the election for that seat will be postponed, Secretary of State Steve Simon announced Thursday.

Weeks was an organic farmer from Goodhue County. The district also includes the southeast Twin Cities suburban counties of Dakota, Scott, and parts of Washington County, and runs southeast to include the city of Northfield.

Gabby Ulan, who identified herself as Weeks’ partner, said the 38-year-old was found dead at his home in Red Wing after family members requested a welfare check, according to the Associated Press.

Weeks died on Monday, according to his obituary. The cause of death wasn’t clear, Ulan said. An autopsy has been requested. Red Wing Police Chief Roger Pohlman said officers carried out a welfare check Monday evening and found Weeks’ body, but declined further comment.

Simon said state law requires that if a major party nominee dies within 79 days of Election Day, a special election will be held for that office on the second Tuesday of February. That is Feb. 9, 2021. Legal Marijuana Now is a major party in Minnesota, a designation generally achieved by having a candidate win a certain percentage of votes in a prior statewide election.

The 2nd District seat will be vacant from the time the current Congress adjourns in early January until a winner is declared in the special election.

Voters in the district should continue to vote, Simon said. Those who have already voted by mail or in person at their county elections office do not need to request a new ballot. While the 2nd District race will still appear on the Nov. 3 ballot, the votes in that race will not be counted.

Simon offered his condolences to Weeks’ family and friends. “The loss of any of us is a tragedy, and that’s felt especially in someone who has put his energy into a campaign to serve in public office,” he said in a news release.

On his campaign website, Weeks said he graduated from Northfield High School in 2000. He advocated ending the war on drugs, saying: “Every adult should have the right to grow, possess and use marijuana responsibly.”

An outdoor funeral is planned for Saturday at 2 p.m. at St. Ansgar’s Lutheran Church in Cannon Falls, according to the obituary.

CANDIDATES OFFER CONDOLENCES

Both the Republican and Democratic candidates offered their condolences to the Weeks family Thursday.

Craig said in a statement, “I was deeply saddened to hear the tragic news of Adam Weeks’ passing earlier this week. Cheryl and I are praying for the Weeks family during this difficult time.”

Kistner released a statement saying: “I am saddened to hear that Adam Weeks has passed away. Adam was a passionate advocate for the causes he believed in, and he will be missed by all those who knew him. Marie and I will be praying for Adam and his family and friends as they go through this difficult time.”

WHAT IT WILL MEAN

FOR THE RACEDelaying the 2nd District election until Feb. 9 will “dramatically lower the voter turnout,” said Kathryn Pearson, a University of Minnesota congressional scholar.

Craig and Kistner won’t have the benefit of the presidential and U.S. Senate campaigns attracting voters to the polls, so their biggest challenge will be to mobilize their supporters to turn out for a special election in the middle of winter.

Since the south suburban 2nd is a “narrowly divided district” politically, Pearson said, neither party will have a clear advantage in the race.

In 2018, Craig defeated first-term incumbent Republican Jason Lewis, who is now running for U.S. Senate.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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