Minnesota 3Rd Party Us House Candidate Paula Overby Dies

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Paula Overby, a third-party candidate in Minnesota's hotly contested 2nd Congressional District, died Wednesday, her family said.

Her son, Tyler Overby, said the 68-year-old died of complications from heart valve trouble after being hospitalized for the past two weeks.

Overby was a candidate for Legal Marijuana Now, which has major-party status in Minnesota. The mostly suburban seat is held by Democratic Rep. Angie Craig, who faces a stiff challenge from Republican Tyler Kistner.

Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel said while campaigning for Kistner in Apple Valley on Tuesday that the race would probably be the second-most expensive congressional contest across the country this year.

Democratic strategists have long warned that candidates from Minnesota's two pro-cannabis parties could serve as spoilers by drawing votes away from Democrats like Craig who support legalization.

Mail-in ballots have already gone out and early in-person voting has already begun for the Nov. 8 election in Minnesota. Secretary of State Steve Simon's office said the ballots will remain as printed, and the congressional election will proceed as scheduled in the district. Early voters who want to change their returned ballots can contact their local election office.

A different Legal Marijuana Now candidate running for the same seat died shortly before the 2022 election. Adam Weeks remained on the ballot. He pulled nearly 6 percent of the vote, but Craig beat Kistner by just over 2 percentage points.