Keith Ellison seeking reelection as Minnesota attorney general

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison (D) is seeking reelection as the chief law officer of the Gopher State, after making headlines earlier this year when a jury found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murdering George Floyd.

The Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party said in a statement that Ellison will officially announce his reelection plans during a news conference Monday afternoon.

Sen. Elizabeth Klobuchar (D-Minn.), St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter III and Minnesota Farmers Union President Gary Wertish are all set to throw their support behind Ellison, according to the state party.

Ellison, who previously represented Minnesota in the U.S. House, made history when he was elected in 2018, becoming the first Black attorney general in the state. He also broke barriers in Congress, becoming the first Muslim elected to serve on Capitol Hill in 2007.

Ellison put together a coalition of lawyers from the private sector and from his office to prosecute the case against Chauvin, who was charged with three counts over Floyd’s murder.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Waltz (D) announced in May 2020, days after Floyd was killed, that Ellison would take the lead for the prosecution in the case.

The case, which attracted nationwide attention and sparked a racial reckoning throughout the country, ended with the jury voting unanimously to convict Chauvin of second-degree murder, second-degree manslaughter and third-degree murder.

Ellison, following the guilty verdicts, said Floyd did not bear any responsibility for his death.

The attorney general, along with Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington, headed a task force that set forth a plan in 2020 that sought to decrease the number of police-involved deadly force encounters, according to The Associated Press.

That proposition reportedly included a bill that aimed to create consistent guidelines for when actions are considered justified, in addition to an initiative calling for the establishment of new versions of policing.

Ellison bested Republican Doug Wardlow, a former state representative, in the 2018 race for attorney general. Wardlow is running for attorney general again next year.

Wardlow knocked the attorney general’s tenure in a statement following reports that Ellison would wage a reelection campaign.

“Keith Ellison’s tenure as Attorney General has been a disaster for all Minnesotans. He has fostered a climate of lawlessness that has led to skyrocketing crime across our state,” Wardlow said.

“Minnesota voters are fed up with Keith Ellison’s radical agenda, and will not give him a second term. As Attorney General, I will ensure that violent criminals who terrorize our communities are prosecuted aggressively. I will make sure that lawbreaking has consequences,” he added.

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