With a move that stunned many, Rep. Keith Ellison (MN-5th) announced he is running to be Minnesota’s next attorney general.
In doing so, he will not run for re-election to the House of Representatives – a place where he served since 2007. Ellison will retain his post as co-chair of the Democratic National Committee. The progressive Democrat said while he loved serving the residents of the 5th District in Washington, D.C., he feels he can better serve all of Minnesota as attorney general.
“I think Minnesota needs an advocate who will fight for them when dealing with big business, big banks and fighting for fair wages,” said Ellison in an exclusive interview just this afternoon with Insight News. “When someone is getting ripped off by a payday lender, that person needs an advocate in the state attorney general’s office. I feel my voice will be more effective here in Minnesota, where I’ll be advocating on behalf of the entire state.”
Ellison said he will also fight for criminal justice reform and civil rights if elected to the statewide seat.
He called the decision to leave the House “incredibly difficult,” saying it was a tremendous honor to serve the residents of the state’s 5th Congressional District – a district in which he is well liked and won easily in all six of his runs.
“I love doing the work in Congress. I was able to get a lot done here. I passed the Credit Card Holders’ Bill of Rights (which protects cardholders against arbitrary interest rate increases, prevents cardholders who pay on time from being unfairly penalized,
requires card companies to fairly credit and allocate payments and prohibits card companies from imposing excessive fees on cardholders), I helped to protect the Mississippi River and fought for racial justice and religious freedoms,” said Ellison. “I was able to build some great friendships in the House, and those relationships will continue.”
Running statewide for the first time, Ellison said he is going to engage voters in the ways he has in the past, this time on a grander scale.
“I’m going to spend every moment on the phone or on the road talking to voters. We’re going to get in the car and go talk to folks … more importantly, listen to people and hear their concerns,” said Ellison.
Ellison has until the state primaries on Aug. 14 to get his message out to voters.