A minor-party congressional candidate in Minnesota has spoken from beyond the grave to say he was recruited to siphon votes from lesbian U.S. Rep. Angie Craig.
Adam C. Weeks, running as the Legal Marijuana Now Party candidate in the state’s Second Congressional District, died in September. He always denied that he sought to be a spoiler in the race, but a May voice mail obtained by the Minneapolis Star Tribune shows him telling a friend that Republicans asked him to run in hopes that he’d “pull votes away” from Craig, a Democrat, so as to help her GOP challenger, Tyler Kistner.
“I swear to God to you, I’m not kidding, this is no joke,” Weeks said in the message to friend Joey Hudson, according to the Star Tribune. “They want me to run as a third-party, liberal candidate, which I’m down. I can play the liberal, you know that.” Hudson shared the recording with the paper, which confirmed that the message was indeed from Weeks by speaking to his cousin and comparing it to videos he’d posted online. The Republican Party offered Weeks $15,000, which he considered “enough to make door knocks with,” he said on the voice mail. His organic farming business had been struggling.
The Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, as the Democratic Party is known in Minnesota, unearthed more than 100 social media posts as evidence that Weeks was no liberal. In them, he showed support for Republican politicians, while condemning “fake news” and “socialist scum.” The DFL also submitted a complaint to the Federal Election Commission in August over Weeks’s failure to file a campaign finance report.
Craig was first elected in 2018, defeating anti-LGBTQ+ and misogynistic Republican incumbent Jason Lewis, a former radio shock jock. She had lost to him in 2016, when there was a third-party candidate in the race, and the absence of such a candidate made the difference in 2018, Weeks said in the voice mail. Paula Overby, who was the Legal Marijuana Now Party’s candidate in 2016, is seeking to replace Weeks on the ballot.
Kistner and Craig have been embroiled in a court battle over whether the election should be delayed in the wake of Weeks’s death, with Kistner arguing that it should be and Craig saying it should proceed as planned November 3. Courts have ruled in Craig's favor, and the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday declined to hear Kistner's appeal.
As for Lewis, he is now running for U.S. Senate against Democrat Tina Smith, who was appointed in 2018 to serve the remainder of Al Franken’s term when he resigned amid sexual harassment allegations, and she is up for election now. Smith’s campaign has noted Lewis’s history of homophobic remarks.
Craig’s campaign had no comment on the Weeks news, nor did Kistner’s. Second District Republican Chairman Jeff Schuette said no one in his organization recruited Weeks, but others in the district could have done so. The district stretches south from Minneapolis-St. Paul and covers several suburban and rural communities. The Star Tribune could not obtain comment from current officials and candidates with the Legal Marijuana Now Party, but a former official said the party has no control over who runs under its banner.