RNC Illegally Paid & Tricked Blind, Disabled Veteran to Run for Congress Under a 3rd Party to Pull Votes from Democrats
In a stunning report just released by Fox 9, it was revealed that a Republican National Committee (RNC) staffer, Kip Christianson, tricked a blind, disabled war veteran into running for Congress under a 3rd party in order to pull votes from the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party candidate in Minnesota’s swing 7th congressional district.
The RNC staffer, Christianson, also broke Minnesota law by providing an inducement for the 3rd party candidate, Kevin “Ne Se” Shores, to run for office. This payment was not disclosed on campaign finance reports as an in-kind contribution.
“Blind and permanently disabled, Kevin Ne Se Shores is accustomed to navigating life’s obstacles, but it has never stopped him from pursuing his third-party political ambitions.
Still, he was surprised by the unsolicited call he got in June of 2020 from a man who encouraged him to run against Congressman Collin Peterson (D-MN) as a candidate for the Grassroots Legalize Cannabis Party.
Shores, who suffers from Gulf War Illness, used cannabis to get off pain killers. He told the FOX 9 Investigators he assumed he was being recruited by a member of the Grassroots Legalize Cannabis Party.
“I was under the impression he was a part of that political party,” Shores said. “That was my assumption.”
He was wrong.
Unknown to Shores, the man who called encouraging him to run was a Republican strategist, Kip Christianson, who at the time was on the payroll of the Republican National Committee, according to the Federal Election Commission.
On the day of the filing deadline, June 2, 2020, Shores said Christianson made a seven-hour roundtrip to pick up his notarized ‘Affidavit of Candidacy’ in Moorhead and delivered it to the Secretary of State’s Office in St. Paul, 45 minutes before the filing deadline.
Shores said Christianson also paid the $300 filing fee with a money order.
“I said, ‘How much is the filing fee?’ and he said, ‘Don’t worry about it.’ And again, I’m assuming this is the Grassroots Cannabis Party,” Shores said.
Shores said he only learned Christianson was working for the Republican Party after the election.”
Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party Chairman Ken Martin released the following statement:
“The fact that a Republican operative tricked a blind, disabled veteran into running for office is as despicable as it gets. If Minnesota law was broken, then Christianson and the Republican National Committee must be held accountable.
This disturbing revelation adds to the mountain of evidence that Republicans across Minnesota were engaged in a coordinated, underhanded, and sometimes illegal effort to win elections by recruiting fake 3rd party candidates to pull votes from DFL Party candidates. The fact that Republicans would resort to such cheap tricks to win elections shows just how morally bankrupt their party has become.”
As Lyden noted in his report, the situation with Shores was not an isolated incident. In 2020, candidates running under the Legal Marijuana Now Party and the Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis Party appeared in swing districts across Minnesota. Both parties achieved major party status in Minnesota, meaning candidates running under their banners do not need to collect nominating signatures. The pot party candidates that ran in 2020 frequently had extremely close ties to the Republican Party. Democrats and numerous observers in the media believe this was a coordinated effort to pull votes from Democrats.
One marijuana legalization activist has even claimed Minnesota’s Republican Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka tried to recruit him to run for office as a pot party candidate in a swing district. Three pot party candidates have openly admitted they were recruited to run for office by Republicans in order to attract the votes of more liberal Minnesotans who would otherwise have voted for the Democratic candidate in the race.
Below are several examples of transparently fake 3rd party candidates that ran in swing districts across Minnesota in 2020.
Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District
In this swing district, Adam Weeks was running as a pot party candidate prior to his passing in September of 2020. Weeks left a voicemail for a friend in which he admitted to being recruited by Republicans to run for office to pull votes from Democrats. Weeks’ admission is corroborated by his social media activity, in which he indicated strong support for Republican candidates and a strong disdain for Democrats.
Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District
This swing district saw multiple candidates running under Minnesota’s pot parties, including Kevin Shores and Rae Hart Anderson. Anderson’s social media account is replete with pro-Republican and anti-Democratic content.
Minnesota’s 5th State Senate District
As the only state in the nation with a divided legislature, Minnesota’s state senate was hotly contested. In the swing 5th district, Robyn Smith ran as a pot party candidate and openly admitted to being recruited by Republicans to run and pull votes from Democrats.
Minnesota’s 14th State Senate District
Jaden Partlow ran under the banner of the Legal Marijuana Now Party in this swing district. Partlow declined numerous requests for interviews during his ostensible run for office. The Chair of the Legal Marijuana Now Party believed Partlow was a Republican plant, saying he had never even heard of Partlow. The Democratic candidate in the race claimed Partlow expressed no interest in running and no plans to campaign when the two of them met.
Minnesota’s 20th State Senate District
Jason Hoschette ran as a Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis Party candidate in this competitive district. Hoschette has ties to a Republican Senate aide who was also a leader in his local Republican Party. Hoschette deleted any mention of their friendship from his social media when asked about his run and their friendship. He also declined all interview requests.
Minnesota’s 27th State Senate District
In this swing district, pot party candidate Tyler Becvar shared content on social media from the Republican candidate he was ostensibly running against. Becvar also frequently shared pro-Trump, pro-GOP content, and anti-Democratic content, was from the same town as the Republican candidate in the race, and, most tellingly of all, said he was ambivalent about legalizing marijuana, despite running for office as a marijuana legalization party candidate.
Minnesota State House District 55A
Ryan Martin ran as a pot party candidate in this swing district. Marin was encouraged to run for office by his mother, who is close friends with local Republican leaders, a supporter of the Republican candidate in the race, and was dating another fake pot party candidate, Adam Weeks, prior to his passing. It was unclear why Martin’s mother encouraged him to ostensibly run against a candidate she supported.