Former President Barack Obama released his second round of endorsements ahead of the November midterm election this week, and embattled Minnesota attorney general candidate Keith Ellison was not on the list.
The announcement was made on social media with former president saying he is “proud to endorse even more Democratic candidates who aren’t just running against something, but for something.” Seventeen candidates running in races in Minnesota were included in the list. Ellison was not one of them.
Today, I’m proud to endorse even more Democratic candidates who aren’t just running against something, but for something—to expand opportunity for all of us and to restore dignity, honor, and compassion to public service. They deserve your vote: pic.twitter.com/NO5jnhX3XD
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) October 1, 2018
Some Democrats have been hesitant to publicly announce their support for Ellison amid the domestic violence allegations against him. Karen Monahan, Ellison’s former girlfriend, says the congressman physically and verbally abused her. Monahan has shared private messages and medical records that corroborate her claims.
While Obama and other Democrats steer clear of Ellison, state Rep. Ilhan Omar, who is running to replace Ellison in Congress, announced her endorsement on Wednesday.
“We need a lawyer for the people,” Omar wrote on Twitter. “Keith Ellison is that lawyer.”
We need a lawyer for the people.
Keith Ellison is that lawyer.
Join me in supporting him for our next Attorney General. https://t.co/9rN2XZtzzd
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) October 3, 2018
“What I know is that Minnesotans love when their politics centers the people,” Omar said in her endorsement video. “Big corporations, special interest groups, and the wealthy already have people who are working on their behalf. Minnesotans need a lawyer who is going to work for the people.”
The Minnesota DFL investigation into the allegations against Ellison recently concluded. Susan Ellingstad, the lawyer leading the investigation, reported that she was “unable to substantiate the claim” based on Monahan’s refusal to provide the video of the alleged incident where Ellison tried to drag Monahan off a bed by her feet during a fight in 2016.
However, the impartiality of the report is now being called into question after research reveals Lockridge Grindal Nauen, Ellingstad’s law firm, has been a major donor to Democrats since 1998. The investigation is now being passed onto local law enforcement.