Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison has won his bid to be his state’s next attorney general following a bitter, months-long campaign during which Ellison was accused of domestic abuse by a former girlfriend.
Ellison, who also serves as the Deputy Chair of the Democratic National Committee and was seen as an icon of progressive politics before the allegations, had been considered by many to be a shoo-in for his race to become Minnesota’s top lawyer—a position held by Democrats since the 1970s. He defeated Republican candidate Doug Wardlow.
In August, a former girlfriend alleged that Ellison had been verbally and physically abusive during their relationship. (Ellison denied the claims.) The state’s Democratic Party nevertheless endorsed Ellison after he defeated four rivals in his primary race; the party ultimately said it could not substantiate the allegations. The DNC made no attempt to remove Ellison from his position.
In mid-October, Ellison’s divorce records were unsealed over his objections following a petition by local news outlets. In them, Ellison alleged that he was subject to domestic abuse at the hands of his ex-wife.
Wardlow formerly served as an attorney for the Alliance Defending Freedom, an anti-LGBTQI group whose homophobia he reportedly shares; multiple witnesses have claimed that Wardlow used anti-gay slurs while bullying a classmate in high school.