A Minnesota Candidate Gave a Convention Speech While in Labor

Erin Maye Quade, who was running for the state Senate in Minnesota, delivered both a convention speech and a baby the span of a hours

Erin Maye Quade, advocacy director for Gender Justice, speaks at a news conference at the State Capitol in St. Paul, Minnesota,, against a bill that's part of the Senate Republican "Parents Bill of Rights." Maye Quade and other opponents say they fear the legislation could force teachers to out LGBTQ students to their parents, exclude transgender students from sports and remove consequences for bullying and harassment Minnesota Senate Education, Minneapolis, United States - 03 Mar 2022
Erin Maye Quade. Photo: Steve Karnowski/AP/Shutterstock

A Minnesota candidate running for state senate was forced to withdraw from her party's nominating process over the weekend, her campaign says, after she gave a speech at the convention while in labor — and then rushed to the hospital to give birth.

Erin Maye Quade, who was running to be the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party party's nominee, began having contractions around 2 a.m. on Saturday, her campaign manager, Mitchell Walstad, told HuffPost.

Hours later, after her team convinced the convention organizers to push the endorsement up a few hours, the 36-year-old was at the event.

"We went into the day not sure if she was even going to make it to the convention," Walstad told HuffPost in a story published Monday, adding that Maye Qade met with delegates in between having contractions.

"We had a little personal campaign room. So she'd go in there to have her contractions. And then she was like, 'Great, I have 15 or 20 minutes until my next contraction happens. So I'll go out and talk to delegates during this time trying to push through it,' " Walstad said.

Viral footage of the speech shared to Twitter shows Maye Quade leaning over to have contractions amid her remarks and saying "excuse me" while the audience cheered her on.

Maye Quade not only gave her speech but also stayed for a question-and-answer session with other candidates after.

"There were points where it was her turn to answer, and they had to switch the order and have the other candidate answer because she could not speak because she was having a contraction in front of everyone," Walstad told HuffPost.

Neither Maye Quade nor her opponent, Justin Emmerich, had enough votes to win outright after the first round of delegate votes took place.

But as her contractions continued, Maye Quade was forced to withdraw from the race in order to head to the hospital. Emmerich then won, unopposed.

Some of Maye Quade's supporters were critical of the process by which she was forced to withdraw (though her campaign told HuffPost they did not formally seek a motion to suspend the proceedings, which would have gone to a vote at the convention).

Clare Oumou Verbeten, a candidate for a different Minnesota state Senate seat, wrote on Facebook on Sunday: "Thinking of my sister Erin Maye Quade this morning. Erin went into labor during her convention yesterday. She was literally experiencing contractions during her speech."

Verbeten continued in her post: "It hurts me to see this very public display of a Black woman pushing through pain, especially when the blatant disregard and dismissal of our pain has led to alarming rates of us dying during childbirth. Black women are always expected to be so strong. We deserve tenderness, care, and rest. Get some rest, sis. Congrats on becoming a mama."

Maye Quade, who served in the Minnesota state House of Representatives from 2017 to 2019, delivered her child — a girl — nearly 24 hours after her contractions began, at around 2 a.m. on Sunday.

The new addition will join Maye Quade and her wife, Alyse, and their two rescue dogs, according to her campaign website.

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