A woman running for the Minnesota state Senate was forced to drop out of the race because she had to leave her party’s convention to give birth, The Washington Post reported Monday.
“We weren’t sure she was going to make it,” Mitchell Walstad, Maye Quade’s campaign manager, told the Post. Maye Quade, however, did go to the convention, greeting delegates and giving a speech.
Maye Quade had to leave the floor in intervals of about 15 to 20 minutes whenever a contraction started, the Post reported. As candidate speeches began, her contractions were becoming more pronounced and she had to stop talking when one came on as she was addressing the crowd.
She then endured a question-and-answer period of about 10 inquiries. “At one point, they had to switch up the order, I believe, because she was having a contraction in the middle of when she was supposed to answer,” Walstad said.
In the first round of voting, Maye Quade received 74 votes, while her opponent, Justin Emmerich, received 91 votes, the Post reported. Because neither candidate received 60% of the vote, a second round of balloting was triggered.
Walstad said Maye Quade reached her “breaking point” and the campaign approached Emmerich about suspending the convention and switching to a primary, the Post reported. According to Walstad, he did not agree, but Emmerich disputed he blanketly denied the request.
“After the first ballot had been completed, I received word from a member of my campaign that the results showed me leading by 55-44 percent (1 percent abstaining),” Emmerich said in a statement Monday, the Post reported. “I was on my way to talk to my floor manager to verify this information when Erin pulled me aside.”
“She asked if I would be willing to suspend the convention and take the race to a primary since it appeared to be about even,” he added. “I responded by saying I hadn’t verified the count yet and would get back to her. She said that was fine. However, before I was able to speak with her again, she made the decision to suspend her campaign.”
Maye Quade eventually withdrew from the race to go to the hospital, delivering her child 12 hours later, the Post reported.
Emmerich said he would have accepted a formal request to halt the convention, but none was made, the Post reported. Emma McBride, the political director of Women Winning and supporter of Maye Quade, said the campaign thought getting the required support from two-thirds of delegates was too tall a task.
Her supporters argued the convention would have been canceled had she been experiencing a medical emergency unrelated to pregnancy, the Post reported.
“If someone was like, ‘Hey, Erin had a heart attack.’ There’s no way that the people would have got up and said, ‘Well, we have to endorse by acclamation!” Walstad said.