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Attorney General Keith Ellison running for reelection

The Minnesota DFL confirmed Sen. Amy Klobuchar and St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter are endorsing Keith Ellison's bid for reelection.

ST PAUL, Minn — Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison wants to keep his post as the state's top prosecutor. The Minneapolis Democrat announced Monday he's seeking a second term in the 2022 Election.

Ellison was first elected in 2018 after serving 12 years in Congress representing Minnesota's 5th District. He told KARE he will stand on his record of going to bat for consumers as the people's lawyer at the State Capitol.

"I’m ready for four more. I’m jumping out there. The mission is a fair economy. The mission is respect, dignity for everybody," Ellison told KARE.

"The work is not done. We still have to build a fairer economy for the average person. We’ve seen prices in a number of areas climbing and yet wages are still pretty much where they were for most people."

Ellison was flanked by a number of endorsements in-person, over Zoom and through pre-recorded videos. Among those supporting Ellison's campaign are Sen. Amy Klobuchar and St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter.

"Keith, I'm happy to endorse you. You know this work isn’t just about you. We have an attorney general who is literally our attorney."

Klobuchar praised Ellison's work pulling together the team of prosecutors who won a conviction against former officer Derek Chauvin.

"He didn’t make that trial about himself. He didn’t make it about the lawyers on the case. He made it about George Floyd and the people in the community."

Ellison, in his announcement, called on supporters to go beyond voting for him but to help him expand turnout.

"I’m running because in this moment democracy is on the line, a fair economy is on the line and participation is the antidote to protect both," Ellison remarked.

"Give us your volunteer time so we can get other people to vote."

Ellison has continued the tradition of the Attorney's General's office engaging in legal battles with major pharmaceutical companies, predatory lenders, employers who engage in wage theft, to name a few.  He has also enrolled Minnesota in national lawsuits aimed at protecting voting rights and upholding 2020 presidential election results.

The COVID pandemic forced Ellison into the role of policing price-gouging, and enforcing Gov. Tim Walz's executive orders that fully or partially shut down bars and restaurants.  Ellison, whose mother died of COVID-related complications during the first year of the pandemic, acknowledged he'll take heat from some quarters for his enforcement efforts.

"There are 15,000 bars and 10,000 restaurants. We only had to take nine people to court. So, I think most people agreed that doing the right thing for your customers and employees was the right thing to do," Ellison explained.

"And I don’t want those people who’ve complied with the law to be at a competitive disadvantage to those who didn’t."

Republicans trying to unseat the incumbent AG were quick to attack Ellison, painting him as anti-law enforcement and pointing to his support of Question 2, which would have abolished the Minneapolis Police Department for a new Department of Public Safety. The ballot question was voted down by city residents on election day. 

“Keith Ellison lost the confidence of voters around the state the moment he chose ‘Defund the Police’ politics over the safety and well-being of Minnesotans," said Republican National Committee spokesperson Preya Samsundar in a released statement. 

"Ellison’s days as top cop are numbered as folks across Minnesota reject his radical agenda and will show that by electing a Republican who will value the rule of law, protect their families, and back the blue.”  

The top two Republican challengers are Dennis Smith, a former state lawmaker from Maple Grove who was the lead author of the Real ID bills in the House, and Doug Wardlow who lost to Ellison by just four percentage points in 2018. Wardlow has since worked as lead counsel for Mike Lindell, the pillow company founder who still maintains former President Trump didn't lose in 2020.

Before he was sworn in as Minnesota's 30th attorney general on Jan. 7, 2019, Ellison represented Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2005 to 2019. Before he was elected to Congress, Ellison served four years in the Minnesota House of Representatives.

A graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School, he's the first African American and the first Muslim American to be elected to statewide office in Minnesota.

Next month, Ellison's office will lead the prosecution against former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter in the April 11 death of Daunte Wright.

Potter will stand trial in Hennepin County on first and second-degree manslaughter charges in the death of Wright, who was shot after being stopped April 11 for a traffic violation.

Jury selection in Kim Potter's trial begins on Nov. 30, with opening statements slated for Dec. 8

Ellison's office also led the prosecution of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd. According to the press release from Ellison's office, Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank, who was also a lead prosecuting attorney in Chauvin's trial, will supervise the case against Potter. A press release said Ellison will "actively assist," and that he is already "reviewing the evidence and charges" against Potter.