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Deceased 3rd-party candidate reportedly tapped by Republicans to undermine Angie Craig

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Adam Weeks was never going to win Minnesota’s 2nd District seat in Congress, but the deceased Legal Marijuana Now Party candidate has had an outsize effect on the race.

His death in September from an apparent accidental fentanyl overdose set off a legal battle over whether the contest should be delayed until February. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that it won’t be. Now, according to a published report, Weeks left a voicemail for a friend in which he said he was recruited to the race by Republicans solely to siphon votes away from Democratic Rep. Angie Craig in a competitive suburban-to-rural district south of the Twin Cities.

The Star Tribune reported that it obtained a voicemail that Weeks left for his friend, Joey Hudson, four weeks before Weeks died last month. In the recording, which the newspaper said Hudson gave them, the man identified as Weeks said Republican operatives approached him in the hopes he’d “pull votes away” from Craig and give an advantage to the “other guy,” Tyler Kistner, the GOP-endorsed candidate.

Democrats have accused GOP operatives of recruiting third-party candidates such as Weeks to siphon off votes that would otherwise go to Democratic candidates in a number of races across Minnesota and the rest of the country. Hip-hop star and fashion mogul Kanye West, a fan of President Donald Trump, got on the presidential ballot in Minnesota and several other states with help from GOP operatives but denied being a spoiler.

“I swear to God to you, I’m not kidding, this is no joke,” the man the Star Tribune identified as Weeks said. The paper said his voice was confirmed by his cousin and through independent comparison to other videos he posted online before his death. “They want me to run as a third-party, liberal candidate, which I’m down. I can play the liberal, you know that.”

Hudson did not immediately return a message Wednesday from the Associated Press. Spokesmen for the Craig and Kistner campaigns declined to comment.

But Brian Evans, a spokesman for Minnesota’s Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, told the AP that Republicans have recruited or are suspected of recruiting several candidates to run as Legal Marijuana Now or other third-party candidates across Minnesota. Legal Marijuana Now has major party status in the state and is thus entitled to ballot spots.

“There are not that many third-party candidates running, and if you look at where they’re running it’s disproportionately in some of the most competitive districts in Minnesota,” Evans said. “It’s clear that Republicans are recruiting a lot of these folks. It’s beyond clear.”

The party put out a statement Wednesday listing several races in which Democrats believe, based on media reports, that Republicans have engaged in a coordinated effort to recruit third-party candidates to pull votes away from Democrats in close races.

“Running fake candidates to trick people out of their votes is a new low and shows how desperate Minnesota Republicans are,” Evans said.

Condemning the GOP tactic as “unconscionable” were leaders of three of the top pro-legalization groups in the state, Minnesotans for Responsible Marijuana Regulation, Sensible Change MN and MN NORML.

“The efforts of the marijuana legalization parties has been hijacked by Republican operatives seeking to game the system,” they said. “Placing Republican foils on the ballot under the guise of serving as legalization advocates sows distrust of what is supposed to be a democratic system.

A Minnesota GOP spokesman did not immediately return messages seeking comment Wednesday.

Craig first ran for the seat in 2016, losing to a Republican by two points with a third-party candidate drawing nearly 8 percent. Two years later, without a third-party candidate, Craig beat the same Republican by 5 points in a rematch.

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Legal Marijuana Now Party

Legal Marijuana Now Party
Basic facts
Location: St. Paul, Minn.
Type: Political party
Top official: Charles Michael Ford, Chair
Year founded: 1998
Website: Official website

Contents

  • 1 Background
    • 1.1 Ballot access for political parties
  • 2 Platform
  • 3 Rules and bylaws
  • 4 Convention
  • 5 Leadership
  • 6 Recent news
  • 7 See also
  • 8 External links
  • 9 Footnotes

The Legal Marijuana Now Party is a political party in Minnesota that is dedicated to electing pro-cannabis candidates. The group is headquartered in St. Paul, Minn. [1] As of September 2019, it was a ballot-qualified party in Minnesota.

Background

Legal Marijuana Now was organized as a community movement in 1998 in order to coordinate petitions to place pro-cannabis candidates on Minnesota ballots. The group traces its roots to the Grassroots Party, which was established in 1986 to oppose the war on drugs. Legal Marijuana Now earned recognition as a political party in the state when pro-cannabis candidate Dan R. Vacek earned 57,604 votes in the 2014 race for Minnesota attorney general. As of February 2016, the Legal Marijuana Now Party was a recognized minor political party on Minnesota. [1] [2] [3] [4]

The Legal Marijuana Now Party supported the candidacy of Zachary Phelps in the 2016 special election for Minnesota State Senate District 35. Phelps lost the election to Republican Jim Abeler. [5]

Ballot access for political parties

As of September 2019, there were 224 state-level ballot-qualified political party affiliates in the United States. [6] Some parties are recognized in multiple states. For example, both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party are recognized in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. These two parties account for 102 of the 224 total state-level parties. [7] [8] [9] Three minor parties were recognized in more than 10 states as of September 2019:

Although there are dozens of political parties in the United States, only certain parties qualify to have the names of their candidates for office printed on election ballots. In order to qualify for ballot placement, a party must meet certain requirements that vary from state to state. For example, in some states, a party may have to file a petition in order to qualify for ballot placement. In other states, a party must organize around a candidate for a specific office; that candidate must, in turn, win a percentage of the vote in order for the party to be granted ballot status. In still other states, an aspiring political party must register a certain number of voters.

The number of ballot-qualified political parties fluctuates as parties gain or lose qualified status. In addition, some states distinguish between major parties and minor parties. Specific differences between major and minor parties differ from state to state. For example, in all states, major parties are granted access to primary elections. Some states, however, do not permit minor parties to participate in primary elections. Consequently, minor party candidates in these states can run only in general elections. [7]

The table below lists all ballot-qualified political parties in each state as of September 2019. Click “[show]” to expand the table. [7]

Ballot-qualified parties by state, September 2019
State Political party
Alabama Democratic Party of Alabama
Alabama Republican Party of Alabama
Alaska Democratic Party of Alaska
Alaska Alaskan Independence Party
Alaska Republican Party of Alaska
Arizona Democratic Party of Arizona
Arizona Green Party of Arizona
Arizona Libertarian Party of Arizona
Arizona Republican Party of Arizona
Arkansas Democratic Party of Arkansas
Arkansas Libertarian Party of Arkansas
Arkansas Republican Party of Arkansas
California American Independent Party of California
California Democratic Party of California
California Green Party of California
California Libertarian Party of California
California Peace and Freedom Party of California
California Republican Party of California
Colorado American Constitution Party of Colorado
Colorado Democratic Party of Colorado
Colorado Green Party of Colorado
Colorado Libertarian Party of Colorado
Colorado Republican Party of Colorado
Colorado Unity Party of Colorado
Connecticut Democratic Party of Connecticut
Connecticut Green Party of Connecticut
Connecticut Independent Party of Connecticut
Connecticut Libertarian Party of Connecticut
Connecticut Republican Party of Connecticut
Connecticut Working Families Party of Connecticut
Delaware American Delta Party of Delaware
Delaware Democratic Party of Delaware
Delaware Green Party of Delaware
Delaware Independent Party of Delaware
Delaware Libertarian Party of Delaware
Delaware Republican Party of Delaware
Florida Democratic Party of Florida
Florida Republican Party of Florida
Florida Constitution Party of Florida
Florida Ecology Party of Florida
Florida Green Party of Florida
Florida Independent Party of Florida
Florida Libertarian Party of Florida
Florida Party for Socialism and Liberation
Florida Reform Party of Florida
Georgia Democratic Party of Georgia
Georgia Republican Party of Georgia
Hawaii Democratic Party of Hawaii
Hawaii Green Party of Hawaii
Hawaii Libertarian Party of Hawaii
Hawaii Republican Party of Hawaii
Idaho Constitution Party of Idaho
Idaho Democratic Party of Idaho
Idaho Libertarian Party of Idaho
Idaho Republican Party of Idaho
Illinois Democratic Party of Illinois
Illinois Republican Party of Illinois
Indiana Democratic Party of Indiana
Indiana Libertarian Party of Indiana
Indiana Republican Party of Indiana
Iowa Democratic Party of Iowa
Iowa Republican Party of Iowa
Kansas Democratic Party of Kansas
Kansas Libertarian Party of Kansas
Kansas Republican Party of Kansas
Kentucky Democratic Party of Kentucky
Kentucky Republican Party of Kentucky
Louisiana Democratic Party of Louisiana
Louisiana Green Party of Louisiana
Louisiana Independent Party of Louisiana
Louisiana Libertarian Party of Louisiana
Louisiana Republican Party of Louisiana
Maine Democratic Party of Maine
Maine Green Independent Party of Maine
Maine Libertarian Party of Maine
Maine Republican Party of Maine
Maryland Democratic Party of Maryland
Maryland Bread and Roses Party of Maryland
Maryland Republican Party of Maryland
Massachusetts Democratic Party of Massachusetts
Massachusetts Green-Rainbow Party of Massachusetts
Massachusetts Libertarian Party of Massachusetts
Massachusetts Republican Party of Massachusetts
Michigan Democratic Party of Michigan
Michigan Green Party of Michigan
Michigan Libertarian Party of Michigan
Michigan Natural Law Party of Michigan
Michigan Republican Party of Michigan
Michigan U.S. Taxpayers Party of Michigan
Michigan Working Class Party of Michigan
Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party of Minnesota
Minnesota Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis Party of Minnesota
Minnesota Green Party of Minnesota
Minnesota Independence Party of Minnesota
Minnesota Legal Marijuana Now Party of Minnesota
Minnesota Libertarian Party of Minnesota
Minnesota Republican Party of Minnesota
Mississippi America First Party of Mississippi
Mississippi American Delta Party of Mississippi
Mississippi American Freedom Party of Mississippi
Mississippi Constitution Party of Mississippi
Mississippi Democratic Party of Mississippi
Mississippi Green Party of Mississippi
Mississippi Justice Party of Mississippi
Mississippi Libertarian Party of Mississippi
Mississippi Prohibition Party of Mississippi
Mississippi Natural Law Party of Mississippi
Mississippi Reform Party of Mississippi
Mississippi Republican Party of Mississippi
Mississippi Veterans Party of Mississippi
Missouri Constitution Party of Missouri
Missouri Democratic Party of Missouri
Missouri Green Party of Missouri
Missouri Libertarian Party of Missouri
Missouri Republican Party of Missouri
Montana Democratic Party of Montana
Montana Green Party of Montana
Montana Libertarian Party of Montana
Montana Republican Party of Montana
Nebraska Democratic Party of Nebraska
Nebraska Libertarian Party of Nebraska
Nebraska Republican Party of Nebraska
Nevada Democratic Party of Nevada
Nevada Independent American Party of Nevada
Nevada Libertarian Party of Nevada
Nevada Republican Party of Nevada
New Hampshire Democratic Party of New Hampshire
New Hampshire Libertarian Party of New Hampshire
New Hampshire Republican Party of New Hampshire
New Jersey Democratic Party of New Jersey
New Jersey Republican Party of New Jersey
New Mexico Better for America Party of New Mexico
New Mexico Constitution Party of New Mexico
New Mexico Democratic Party of New Mexico
New Mexico Green Party of New Mexico
New Mexico Libertarian Party of New Mexico
New Mexico Republican Party of New Mexico
New York Conservative Party of New York
New York Democratic Party of New York
New York Green Party of New York
New York Independence Party of New York
New York Libertarian Party of New York
New York Republican Party of New York
New York SAM Party of New York
New York Working Families Party of New York
North Carolina Constitution Party of North Carolina
North Carolina Democratic Party of North Carolina
North Carolina Green Party of North Carolina
North Carolina Libertarian Party of North Carolina
North Carolina Republican Party of North Carolina
North Dakota Democratic-Nonpartisan League Party of North Dakota
North Dakota Republican Party of North Dakota
Ohio Democratic Party of Ohio
Ohio Republican Party of Ohio
Oklahoma Democratic Party of Oklahoma
Oklahoma Libertarian Party of Oklahoma
Oklahoma Republican Party of Oklahoma
Oregon Constitution Party of Oregon
Oregon Democratic Party of Oregon
Oregon Independent Party of Oregon
Oregon Libertarian Party of Oregon
Oregon Pacific Green Party of Oregon
Oregon Progressive Party of Oregon
Oregon Republican Party of Oregon
Oregon Working Families Party of Oregon
Pennsylvania Democratic Party of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Green Party of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Republican Party of Pennsylvania
Rhode Island Democratic Party of Rhode Island
Rhode Island Republican Party of Rhode Island
South Carolina Alliance Party of South Carolina
South Carolina Constitution Party of South Carolina
South Carolina Democratic Party of South Carolina
South Carolina Green Party of South Carolina
South Carolina Independence Party of South Carolina
South Carolina Labor Party of South Carolina
South Carolina Libertarian Party of South Carolina
South Carolina Republican Party of South Carolina
South Carolina United Citizens Party of South Carolina
South Carolina Working Families of South Carolina
South Dakota Democratic Party of South Dakota
South Dakota Libertarian Party of South Dakota
South Dakota Republican Party of South Dakota
Tennessee Democratic Party of Tennessee
Tennessee Republican Party of Tennessee
Texas Democratic Party of Texas
Texas Green Party of Texas
Texas Libertarian Party of Texas
Texas Republican Party of Texas
Utah Constitution Party of Utah
Utah Democratic Party of Utah
Utah Green Party of Utah
Utah Independent American Party of Utah
Utah Libertarian Party of Utah
Utah Republican Party of Utah
Utah United Utah Party
Vermont Democratic Party of Vermont
Vermont Green Mountain Party of Vermont
Vermont Libertarian Party of Vermont
Vermont Liberty Union Party of Vermont
Vermont Progressive Party of Vermont
Vermont Republican Party of Vermont
Virginia Democratic Party of Virginia
Virginia Republican Party of Virginia
Washington Democratic Party of Washington
Washington Republican Party of Washington
Washington, D.C. D.C. Statehood Green Party
Washington, D.C. Democratic Party of Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C. Libertarian Party of Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C. Republican Party of Washington, D.C.
West Virginia Democratic Party of West Virginia
West Virginia Libertarian Party of West Virginia
West Virginia Mountain Party of West Virginia
West Virginia Republican Party of West Virginia
Wisconsin Constitution Party of Wisconsin
Wisconsin Democratic Party of Wisconsin
Wisconsin Libertarian Party of Wisconsin
Wisconsin Republican Party of Wisconsin
Wisconsin Green Party of Wisconsin
Wyoming Constitution Party of Wyoming
Wyoming Democratic Party of Wyoming
Wyoming Libertarian Party of Wyoming
Wyoming Republican Party of Wyoming

Platform

The party supports pro-cannabis candidates in Minnesota. [2]

Rules and bylaws

The state party is governed by a set of rules and bylaws. Typically, these give structure to the different levels of organization—local, county, and state committees—and establish protocol for electing committee members. The bylaws also typically give details on the party’s process for nominating and sending delegates to the national party convention during presidential elections. As of February 2016, the rules and bylaws of the Legal Marijuana Now Party were not publicly available.

Convention

The date of the 2016 state convention for the Legal Marijuana Now Party was January 24, 2016. [11]

Leadership

As of February 2016, the Legal Marijuana Now Party did not have an executive director.

The following individuals hold leadership positions with the Legal Marijuana Now Party:

  • Charles Michael Ford, Chair
  • Dan R. Vacek, Treasurer[12]

Recent news

The link below is to the most recent stories in a Google news search for the terms ‘Legal Marijuana Now Party’. These results are automatically generated from Google. Ballotpedia does not curate or endorse these articles.

Ballotpedia: The Encyclopedia of American Politics