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Legal Marijuana Now Party Candidate Dies Weeks Before Election For Congress

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


A leftist candidate for representative in Minnesota, who some Democrats were frightened would split the vote and assist Republicans in winning, has died suddenly, weeks before the election.

Paula Overby, 68, who was representing the Legal Marijuana Now Party campaigning against Democratic Rep. Angie Craig and Republican Tyler Kistner in the 2nd Congressional District, died on Wednesday, her family confirmed, CBS News reported.

The rematch in the 2nd Congressional District between incumbent Craig and Kistner is among the most competitive in the nation, according to nonpartisan polling. It’s drawing national attention and money.

Minnesota statutes state that if a candidate dies within 79 days of a general election, “the general election ballot shall remain unchanged, but the county and state canvassing boards must not certify the vote totals for that office from the general election, and the office must be filled at a special election held in accordance with this section.”

Election Day is Nov. 8. It’s unclear what will happen with the 2nd District election.

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Her son Tyler said one of his mom’s heart valves was failing.

He said she was someone who loved “having conversations about anything with anybody,” The Minnesota Star Tribune reported.

“She was great,” he said. “She was a[n] extroverted introvert, but she was always selfless.”

Legal Marijuana Now Party Chairman Tim Davis was stunned by her death.

“We probably won’t have a candidate. It’s too short a time period at this junction; there’s only three and a half weeks to go. It would be very difficult for us to have a candidate,” he said.

Her opponents spoke glowingly about the candidate after her death was announced.

“Minnesota is better for her involvement in our community and she will be missed,” Democrat Rep. Craig said.

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“Paula Overby cared deeply about our state, and the principles she believed in,” Republican candidate Kistner said. “It was an honor to have gotten to know Paula throughout this campaign.”

She described herself on her campaign website.

I am a member of the working class. I’ve worked in manufacturing as a union member and I’ve been on strike. We are not rewarding hard work anymore. I’ve lived the experience of working people with wages that can’t keep up with the soaring cost of housing, education and health care. We can do better.  I’m a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a degree in psychology and a second major in computer science. As a full time working mother of three, I had a successful career as a systems analyst with experience in quality assurance, data analysis and process design.  At present I am thrilled to an IT Director in Education.

I’ve worked with minor parties since 2014. My endorsement speech in 2014 focused on the corporate take over of America.  Since leaving the two-party establishment in 2014 I’ve focused on political process reform and building a political movement that can successfully challenge the politics of wealth and the incumbency lock of the two major parties. Paula has maintained a consistent track record:, opposing the endless wars that threaten the environmental future of our planet and challenging the corporate profiteering that has severely undermined America’s healthcare system.

We are told we can’t win, but we are winning. Obtaining major party status with the coalition in 2018 has expanded ballot access and confirmed the influence of early adopters who will continue to expand this movement.  A growing percentage of Americans recognize that two political bureaucracies in Washington are no longer representing the American people.  I am proud to represent the Legal Marijuana Now party in our efforts to end another American war: The War on Drugs.

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She was seen by many as someone who would split the Democrat vote and possibly assist the Republican candidate in winning.

The Legal Marijuana Now Party chairman said this has happened before to the Party.

“We’re pretty much in shock and just gotta figure out okay, now what?” he said. “This is the second time this has happened in the last two years.”

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