Paula Overby, third-party candidate for Congress in Minnesota, dies before election

Third-party candidate Paula Overby, who ran in a competitive race for the congressional seat in Minnesota’s 2nd District, died Wednesday of heart complications, Overby’s son confirmed. WCCO CBS Minnesota.

WCCO reporter and anchor Esme Murphy was scheduled to interview Overby on Tuesday, Murphy said in a tweetand after the Marijuana Legal Now candidate failed to appear, Murphy was told Overby had been hospitalized.

(credit: Paula Overby)

Overby, who ran on the Legal Marijuana Now ticket, died just about a month before the midterm elections. The Minnesota Secretary of State’s office will not delay the election, and Overby’s name will remain on the ballot.

The Republican challenger in the race, Tyler Kistner, is pausing his events for the next two days out of respect for Overby’s family. “This is a very sad day for Minnesota’s Second District,” Kistner said in a statement. “Paula Overby cared deeply about our state and the principles she believed in. It was an honor to have gotten to know Paula throughout this campaign.”

In a strange coincidence, this is the second congressional election in a row in which the Marijuana Legal Now candidate in Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District died right before the general election. In September 2020, Adam Weeks died, apparently from an accidental fentanyl overdose. After his death, The Star Tribune reported that before his death, Weeks had left a voicemail for a friend saying that Republicans had recruited him to run for the seat simply to get votes from Democratic Rep. Angie Craig.

The 2nd District, which includes a suburb south of Minneapolis, is rated as a throwback by the Cook Political Report.

Aaron Navarro contributed to this report.

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