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Amid allegations, Ellison easily wins DFL primary for attorney general

MinnPost photo by Mike Dvorak
Keith Ellison speaking to supporters after his victory in the primary.

Allegations against U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison that came to light the weekend before the primary election did not appear to have much impact on his run for attorney general.

Ellison easily won the DFL primary and will face GOP nominee Doug Wardlow in November. Ellison took nearly 50 percent of the DFL vote against four opponents and topped his closest rival, state Rep. Debra Hilstrom, by 30 points.

Those numbers are similar to the polling that was done on the primary matchup before a former girlfriend of Ellison’s, Karen Monahan, reported alleged emotional and physical abuse by the congressmen. The charges first came to the public attention Saturday night when Monahan’s son Austin posted them on Facebook. While Monahan said she hadn’t planned on naming Ellison, she supported her son’s decision. Ellison has denied the allegations and said he would speak in more detail about them soon, though nothing has yet been scheduled by the campaign.

At least one national women’s group, UltraViolet, called on Ellison to both end his campaign and resign from Congress.

Ellison made a quick appearance Tuesday at the Tim Walz and Peggy Flanagan election night party in St. Paul. He was greeted with applause and cheers as well as handshakes and hugs.

Wardlow wasted no time in bringing up the allegations against Ellison as an issue for the general election campaign. “I think there are very troubling allegations of domestic abuse, very troubling,” he said from Duluth, where he had stopped by Pete Stauber’s congressional campaign headquarters. “I think it makes it very difficult for Mr. Ellison to make the case that he should be the state’s top law enforcement official.”  

“His [law] license is on voluntary inactive status so he can’t currently practice law in Minnesota,” he added.  “I think the person running for attorney general should be an attorney in the state where he’s running.”

Ellison’s campaign said that he went on inactive status after joining Congress and that members are not permitted to practice while in office. He is expecting to activate his license once he completes an additional eight hours of continuing legal education credits.

Cyndy Brucato contributed to this report. 

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Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/15/2018 - 09:13 am.

    If these allegations are false…

    I hope Ellison deals with them more effectively than Franken did (I’m not saying not declaring the Franken allegations “false” I’m just saying I hope Ellison deals with it better).

    My guess would be that Ellison needs to file a defamation lawsuit against the accuser, thereby demanding that the alleged video be produced in discovery- no video- no defense. Ellison shouldn’t attack the accuser, he doesn’t need to do that, but his lawyers can demand to see the video.

  2. Submitted by Curtis Senker on 08/15/2018 - 09:48 am.

    Voters in CD5 may not have any standards, but I still believe Minnesota is a state that upholds a high standard for moral decency. And that includes Democrats not on the leftist fringe.

  3. Submitted by Sharon Anderson on 08/15/2018 - 03:21 pm.

    Canvass Board Conflicts

    Sharon- the county canvassing board will meet on Friday, August 17 at 11:30am in the Plato Building. The members of the canvassing board are:

    Chris Samuel Ramsey County Auditor

    Blake Huffman Ramsey County Commissioner

    Victoria Reinhardt James Patrick (J.P.) Barone, is a Minnesota Assistant Attorney General. Ramsey County Commissioner husband in AG’s Office

    Shari Moore St Paul City Clerk Designee of Mayor Melvin Carter who endorsed Ellison.

    Heather Kendall Ramsey County Court Administrator

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