MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — On what would normally be the busiest day of the campaign so far, well-known candidate Rep. Keith Ellison is staying silent. Ellison, who is running for the office of Attorney General, is accused of abusing an ex-girlfriend while they were dating.

Karen Monahan released a statement saying Ellison emotionally abused her and dragged her off a bed by her feet. She says there is video of the incident. Ellison says the video does not exist because it never happened.

Monahan said, “After a several years of being in a relationship with Keith Ellison, It became clear, I had survived narcissist abuse.”

He denied the allegations in a written statement Sunday, but has been laying low Monday.

Ellison was the first Muslim member of Congress, and was deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee. But on the eve of the 2018 primary election, his service is not the focus.

“The accusation against Keith Ellison, current member of Congress and candidate for Minnesota Attorney General, is absolutely explosive,” professor Larry Jacobs, who teaches political science at the University of Minnesota, said.

Jacobs says the timing raises questions.

“Any time you have political bombshell land shortly before election day, it makes sense to be suspicious,” he said. “Before the scandal Keith Ellison appeared to be on track to win the a DFL nomination for attorney general here in Minnesota. Now with this bombshell accusation, all of that is up for grabs.”

Until Sunday, Monahan had talked publicly about being an abuse survivor but didn’t name names.

Ellison was a big proponet of encouraging people to vote early. Jacobs says that could mean Ellison already had some of the votes he needs to win the nomination.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield

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