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Abuse Allegations Loom Over Minnesota Race to Replace Ellison
Female candidates dominate 5th District Democratic-Farmer-Labor primary

Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison vacated his 5th District seat to run for state attorney general. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic candidates running for Rep. Keith Ellison’s seat in Minnesota’s deep-blue 5th District are pushing voters to the polls Tuesday, as abuse allegations against the congressman threatened to send them off-message in the campaign’s closing hours.

The three front-runners for the Democratic-Farmer-Labor nod in Tuesday’s primary declined to take sides when asked at a candidate forum Monday about allegations that Ellison physically abused a former girlfriend — which he has denied. The six-term congressman vacated the 5th District seat to run for state attorney general. 

Minnesota 5th District Candidates Sidestep Ellison Allegations
Democratic primary in the state is Tuesday

Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., who is running for state attorney general, has been accused of abuse by a former girlfriend. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Three top Democrats running to succeed Rep. Keith Ellison in Minnesota’s 5th District responded cautiously Monday to allegations that he abused a former girlfriend in 2016.

The candidates did not say whether they believed the allegations against the six-term Democratic lawmaker, who has denied that the long-term relationship included physical abuse. They also did not call for him to resign or drop out of his current race for state attorney general.