Minnesota Supreme Court rules Senate District 2 GOP candidate ineligible, disqualified from Aug. 9 primary

DETROIT LAKES — County election officials in Senate district 2, which includes the White Earth Nation, won't need to canvas the votes cast in their upcoming GOP primary on Aug. 9 following a Minnesota Supreme Court ruling that declared one of the candidates ineligible.

Edward Strickland filed to run as a candidate in Senate District 2 on May 25 and signed an affidavit of candidacy form with the Minnesota Secretary of State, the court said in its July 15 ruling.

However, in the affidavit, Strickland listed his Maplewood address as his residence. And, the court pointed out, Maplewood is not in state Senate District 2, but a suburb of the Twin Cities.

As required by the Minnesota Constitution, a candidate for state senate must live in the district for which they are running for the 6 months preceding a general election.

"Strickland has, as a matter of law, failed to satisfy the constitutional residency requirement because he will not have resided in Senate District 2 for the entire 6-month period preceding the 2022 general election," the court order stated.

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Strickland didn't "respond or offer any evidence" to refute the petitioner's claims, according to the court order.

According to Secretary of State Steve Simon, due to early voting beginning on June 24 and the fact that many of the counties involved had already begun printing ballots and programming their voting equipment, he claimed it would not be possible to remove Strickland from those ballots "without imposing substantial costs and administrative difficulties."

Simon suggested, without Strickland as an eligible candidate, there would be only one candidate (Steve Green) remaining in the GOP primary race for Senate District 2, which would allow that candidate to be automatically nominated to represent their party in the general election this November.

The court agreed and declared Strickland ineligible for the August primary.

"Because Strickland is disqualified, there is only one remaining candidate for the Republican Party nominee for state senator from Senate District 2, making a primary election unnecessary," the court stated.

In an order signed by state Chief Justice Lorie Gildea, the supreme court ordered county canvassing boards not to canvas the returns from the state Senate District 2 GOP Primary election, due to only a single candidate being eligible from the Republican party.

Republican Steve Green and DFLer Alan Roy will square off for the Senate District 2 seat this November.


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