MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota’s Attorney General campaign this year might make history.

Voters could elect the state’s first Republican in half a century. Television ads making it among the most polarizing elections of the year.

One candidate is a liberal firebrand. The other, a conservative champion. It is a disruptive, divisive campaign.

Republican Doug Wardlow says domestic abuse allegations against Democrat Keith Ellison make him unfit for office.

Here is the text of a television ad in which Wardlow lays out his case, in its entirety:

“Keith Ellison: Extreme. Out of touch. Extreme Keith Ellison supported cop killers. Open borders. And worse yet, Keith Ellison has been accused of domestic violence by multiple women. Even the national organization for women has called on Keith Ellison to end his campaign. And now, extreme Keith Ellison wants to be our attorney general? How can we trust him to look out for us?  Doug Wardlow is running for Attorney General to be Minnesota’s lawyer. Doug Wardlow will look out for all of us.”

It is true that Ellison was accused, twice. He denies both allegations.

In 2006, he got a restraining order against a woman who accused him of verbal abuse.

In 2018, a former girlfriend. Karen Monahan, says she has video evidence of Ellison’s physical abuse, but she will not make it public.

A DFL Party investigation could not substantiate the claims. The National Organization for Women did call for Ellison to drop out of the race.

Meanwhile, Ellison claims Wardlow is a member of a “hate group.”

Here is the Ellison ad about Wardlow in its entirety:

“Who is Doug Wardlow? Republican for Attorney General? Counsel for an Arizona-based organization deemed a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Doug Wardlow’s group has been involved in 23 lawsuits against the Affordable Care Act. Sued to undermine public school. And sought to undermine public schools. And fought to defend harassment at women’s clinics. Keith Ellison is running for Attorney General to be the People’s Lawyer.  Protect health care, and pre-existing conditions coverage. Take on corporate interests, and defend equality for all. My name is Keith Ellison, and I approve this message.”

It’s true that Wardlow was a lawyer for the Alliance Defending Freedom until he ran for attorney general.

The Southern Poverty Law Center says ADF is a “hate group” because the group

When Wardlow worked at ADF, it took legal action against Obamacare, transgender bathroom rights and gay marriage.

Wardlow denies that ADF is a hate group. He says he will be a “non-political” attorney general.

The most recent polling shows Wardlow leading Ellison by seven percentage points, 43 percent to 36 percent. Minnesota has not elected a Republican attorney general since 1970.

That’s Reality Check.

Here are some of the sources we used for this Reality Check:

MPR Star Tribune Poll: Wardlow-Ellison

Alliance Defending Freedom

Southern Poverty Law Center

Keith Ellison Pressure To Drop Out Of Race

FOX News Interview With Karen Monahan

Wright County Republican

Doug Wardlow leads Keith Ellison in Poll


Pat Kessler

  1. resqdogz says:

    Curiously, this article elected not to cite the conflicts of Wardlow’s own quotes that render disingenuous his promise to “be a “non-political” attorney general”:

    From MPR:

    “In remarks during a fundraising event Monday in Shakopee for Congressman Jason Lewis, Wardlow described plans for a partisan purge.

    “It’s really exciting now to be in a position for the first time in a half century to take this office back,” Wardlow said. “We’re going to fire 42 Democratic attorneys right off the bat and get Republican attorneys in there.”

    The remarks, which were caught on tape, contrast with Wardlow’s frequent public pledge to take politics out of the office. He has criticized his DFL opponent, Keith Ellison, as being overly partisan.

    A Minnesota DFL Party staffer recorded the fundraiser comments. The party provided the audio to MPR News.

    Wardlow declined an interview request to elaborate on his plan or explain the specificity of the number of attorneys he’s targeting.”