By Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — One of the closest statewide races in this month’s election was the one for Minnesota attorney general.

Congressman Keith Ellison gave up a safe seat in Congress to run for the office.

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Throughout the campaign, Ellison denied accusation of emotional and physical abuse by a former girlfriend.

Republican candidate Doug Wardlow dealt with his own controversies, including a recording were he promised to fire all the Democrats in the attorney general’s office.

In the end, Ellison won by four points — 49 percent to 45 percent.

Ellison ran on a platform promising an activist attorney general’s office, that would move to block President Donald Trump’s policies on issues like immigration, the travel ban and protecting provisions of Obamacare.

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Since Trump’s 2016 election, Democratic attorneys general in other states have taken similar stands by taking the administration to court. Just this past week, Maryland’s attorney general filed a motion in federal court arguing that the president’s appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general to replace the fired Jeff Sessions is “illegal and unconstitutional,” and that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein should fill the position instead.

On WCCO Sunday Morning, Ellison minimized the degree to which he will take on the president.

“I didn’t run for attorney general to fight with Trump,” Ellison said. “I may end up fighting with Trump, but my point is to protect Minnesotans. That has to do with drug pricing; that has to do with the affordability of college, where there are some for-profit colleges taking advantage of people. We are not going to let that kind of stuff happen. But there are things that might bring me into conflict with the federal government.”

Ellison is also promising to restore moral to the office. Under current Attorney General Lori Swanson there were accusations that staff was required to do political work at taxpayers’ expense — accusations Swanson has denied.

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Ellison will be sworn in as attorney general Jan. 7.

Esme Murphy