Democratic U.S. Rep. Angie Craig has declared victory over Republican challenger Tyler Kistner Wednesday with a lead of at least 9,000 votes, though the AP has not yet called the race.
"I am so thrilled to announce that I will be back to represent the Second District," Craig said via Facebook live Wednesday. "We have to make sure every vote is counted in this election. But I am so, so pleased to see that that work is ongoing."
The pivotal Congressional race grew more complicated after the September death of Legal Marijuana Now candidate Adam Weeks, with courts ultimately ruling the election should go on as scheduled. Weeks has earned about 24,000 votes, close to 6 percent of the vote so far.
Before his death, Weeks told a friend, including in a voice mail shared with the Star Tribune, that the Republican party had recruited him to run in the district to draw votes away from Craig.
Kistner has not conceded and issued a statement that he will wait until the rest of the votes are counted.
"Because of the unknown number of how many ballots are still outstanding, we owe it to the voters who waited for hours to cast their ballots before making any final judgments on this race," he said.
Until Craig, a former healthcare executive, flipped the seat in 2018, the 2nd Congressional District had been held by Republicans since 2001.
Craig is also the first woman to represent the district, as well as the country's first openly lesbian mother elected to Congress.