Rep. Keith Ellison’s (D-MN-05) own party is beginning to distance itself from the candidate amid domestic-abuse allegations leveled against him in his campaign for Minnesota attorney general.
Last week, Ellison was excluded from a list of President Barack Obama’s endorsements for Minnesota’s statewide races, which included 17 of Ellison’s Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party colleagues.
“It’s going to be a close race. It shouldn’t be a close race,” DFL Chairman Ken Martin admitted in an interview with The Hill. “It’s a concern to me, it’s a concern to all Democrats who work in politics in this state.”
The DFL has occupied the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office since 1971, but is now at serious risk of losing the once-safe seat for the first time in more than 40 years. According to a recent KSTP and SurveyUSA poll, Ellison is tied with Republican Doug Wardlow at 41 percent.
An additional 40 percent of likely voters said that the abuse allegations will play a “factor” in their vote.
“That 40 percent is a serious problem. It’s probably not going to go away between now and Election Day,” political scientist Steven Schier said.
Ellison is also dealing with internal strife at the Democratic National Committee (DNC), where he serves as co-chair. Reports from earlier this year detailed the “explosive fights” between Chairman Tom Perez and Ellison, who is now considering stepping down from his role at the DNC.
To make matters worse for Ellison, a Hennepin County referee ruled to unseal Ellison’s divorce records Friday.
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