A Minnesota Grassroots Legalize Cannabis Party candidate for Congress is accusing a Republican strategist of encouraging him to launch his campaign in order to siphon votes from Democrats, Fox 9 reports. Kevin Ne Se Shores said Kip Christianson, who was on the payroll of the Republican National Committee, misrepresented himself when he recruited Shores to make his congressional bid.
Shores, a disabled military veteran suffering from Gulf War Illness, said Christianson made a seven-hour roundtrip to pick up his Affidavit of Candidacy and deliver it to the Secretary of State’s Office 45 minutes before the filing deadline and that the GOP operative paid the $300 filing fee. Shores would ultimately lose in a primary to Rae Hart Anderson, who twice ran for office, unsuccessfully, as a Republican.
The Minnesota Reformer first reported the scheme last June, noting that Republican strategists were recruiting independents and other Republicans to run on the Grassroots Legalize Cannabis Party or the Legal Marijuana Now Party to pull votes from Democrats. Other candidates include Robyn Smith, whose social media campaign focused on support for the GOP and then-President Donald Trump (R); Jason Hoschette, who has ties to Republican Senate aide Pat Kaluza; Tyler Becvar, whose Facebook page shows support for Trump; and Adam Charles Weeks, whose social media profile showed support for Trump, but he would later walk back those comments.
Weeks died in September 2020 – 42 days before the General Election – but still garnered 6% of the final tally.
Christenson told Fox 9 that he never misrepresented himself as a member of the Grassroots Legalize Cannabis Party but when asked about whether he told Shores he was a GOP strategist, he replied “no comment.” Christianson is a Harvard graduate, served as a Trump delegate to the 2016 Republican National Convention, a treasurer for the Minnesota Young Republicans, and a candidate tracker for the MN Jobs Coalition, and had an unsuccessful bid for Minnesota Party Co-Chair.
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