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Pregnant Minnesota Candidate Forced To Give Speech While In Active Labor, Sparking Backlash

Pregnant Minnesota Candidate Forced To Give Speech While In Active Labor, Sparking Backlash
Karrah Marie Cheruiyot/YouTube

A Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party candidate for Minnesota state Senate was forced to give remarks at the state's nominating convention while in active labor and many Minnesotans are outraged the convention was not postponed instead.

Erin Maye Quade, a former Minnesota state representative, was ready to go out Saturday and win the endorsement of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, the Minnesota moniker for their state's Democratic Party.

But then, early that morning, she went into labor.

And when it seemed as though officials were not willing to change the date of the convention, Quade soldiered on and gave her speech anyway while fighting through contractions, only to be forced to withdraw later to go to the hospital.

See her speech below.

Many are outraged Quade was put in such a position.

Quade's campaign manager Mitchell Walstad claims that their request for more time was met with "pushback," and so they assumed a request to change the dates would be denied.

He told HuffPost:

"[W]e didn’t feel as if there was any latitude to ask for any suspension of the endorsement, even though we would’ve preferred to do it at a different date."

He also described the process by which Quade was able to appear at all—by going into a designated room to breathe through her contractions, then re-join the nomination proceedings.

When it became clear that Quade would not be able to stay for the duration of the nomination process, Walstad says she requested that her opponent Justin Emmerich agree to suspend the rest of the nomination and move to a primary instead. They say he refused, sparking outrage among many of Quade's supporters.

But Emmerich has a different version of events. He says he told Quade he wanted to wait a bit longer to see how the voting results shaped up and would get back to her, but she suspended her campaign and left for the hospital before he could do so.

Minnesota DFL party officials shared Emmerich's version of events, adding that suspension of the nomination requires a formal request that Quade never initiated.

Walstad and many of Quade's supporters believe, however, that if it had been a different sort of medical emergency like a heart attack, the proceedings would have been halted immediately on principle with or without a formal request.

Emma McBride, a campaign surrogate and friend of Quade's wife, shared this sentiment.

She told HuffPost:

“I think that they would’ve stopped this convention for any other medical emergency, but instead they put a Black woman through immense pain and put her in front of the room during one of her most vulnerable moments in life ― in front of a room of 200 people."

In the end, Emmerich ran unopposed after Quade left for the hospital and, obviously, won.

On Twitter, many people found Quade's situation infuriating.

And many excoriated Emmerich for celebrating his win.

Quade is just the third Black woman in Minnesota's history to serve in its state house, and was the first openly LGBTQ candidate to win her party's endorsement when she ran for lieutenant governor in 2018. Had she won this year's race, she would have been the first Black woman in Minnesota's state Senate.