Keith Ellison files to run for Minnesota AG

Keith Ellison files to run for Minnesota AG
© Keren Carrion

Rep. Keith EllisonKeith Maurice Ellison#BelieveAllWomen, in the Ellison era, looks more like #BelieveTheConvenientWomen Ellison ex-girlfriend details abuse allegations Dem requests DOJ probe on law enforcement use of facial recognition technology MORE (D-Minn.) on Tuesday made it official: He’s giving up his congressional seat to enter the race to become Minnesota’s next attorney general. 

Ellison, a six-term liberal and deputy director of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), filed the paperwork in Minneapolis to enter the state attorney general's race just a few hours before Tuesday’s 5 p.m. deadline. 

He’s running to replace the current attorney general, Lori Swanson, whose bid for a fourth term was sunk on Saturday, when she failed to secure the nomination at her party’s state convention.


Ellison, among the most liberal lawmakers in Congress, was tapped to become second in command of the DNC after losing a tight contest for the chairmanship to Tom PerezThomas Edward PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s 'wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE, a Labor secretary under former President Obama.

At the DNC, Ellison was viewed as the voice of the Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersBoogeywomen — GOP vilifies big-name female Dems RealClearPolitics editor: Moderate Democrats are losing even when they win Sanders tests his brand in Florida MORE (I-Vt.) wing of a Democratic Party that’s still licking its wounds from a disastrous 2016 cycle, when the internal divisions between Sanders and Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham Clinton‘Prosperity and peace’ is the winning Republican theme for midterms Mueller recommends Papadopoulos be sentenced to up to 6 months in prison Poll: Dem opponent leads Scott Walker by 5 points MORE strained the party and helped President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhite House counsel called Trump 'King Kong' behind his back: report Trump stays out of Arizona's ugly and costly GOP fight Trump claims he instructed White House counsel to cooperate with Mueller MORE win the White House. 

Perez and Ellison appeared to be unified in the effort to help the Democrats rebound in this year’s midterm elections. But tensions were reportedly simmering behind the scenes, reaching a boiling point last month when Perez endorsed New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo over his more liberal primary challenger, actress Cynthia Nixon. 

Ellison, though, is expected to stay on in his role as deputy director at the DNC.

Ellison’s move also highlights the frustration among many rank-and-file House Democrats, who have been in the minority for eight years and have had little room to move into a leadership structure that’s been dominated since 2006 by Reps. Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiBoogeywomen — GOP vilifies big-name female Dems Sen. Warner to introduce amendment limiting Trump’s ability to revoke security clearances New Dem ad uses Paterno, KKK, affair allegations to tar GOP leaders MORE (Calif.), Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerHouse Dem: Party's aging leaders is 'a problem' Clyburn: I'll run for Speaker if Pelosi doesn't have enough votes to win Clyburn says he would work to 'transform' Democratic Caucus as Speaker MORE (Md.) and James Clyburn (S.C.).

Faced with the bottleneck at the top, some rising House Democrats have opted to leave Congress to pursue other roles. Some of them — such as former Rep. Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraJudge says California lawsuit challenging census question can proceed Calif. AG seeks info on family separation policy Trump boasts he went '5 for 5' in Tuesday's elections MORE (D-Calif.), who’s now California’s attorney general — seem to have found greater power to push back against President Trump in their new roles than they had in the House. 

Ellison, who’s facing off in an August primary against Matt Pelikan, who beat out Swanson for the state Democrat's nomination, is hoping to join those ranks.

This story was updated at 4:29 p.m.