5th District Endorsement Battle Looms

June 08, 2018 06:52 PM

The decision by U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison to drop his re-election bid and instead run for Minnesota attorney general set off a frenzy of Democrats filing to replace him.

There are six Democrats in the race, many of who have high profiles and solid credentials. They include state Sen. Patricia Torres Ray, state Sen. Bobby Joe Champion, state Rep. Ilhan Omar, former DFL House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher and DFL activist Jamal Abdi Abdulahi. Another Democrat in the race is Frank Drake, who two years ago ran against Ellison as a Republican and lost by 47 points.


With an endorsing convention set for June 17 in hopes of picking a candidate to carry the endorsement into the August 14 primary, two former DFL Party chairs disagree on what the result might be.

RELATED: Fifth District DFL to HOld Special Endorsing Convention 

"I think they're going to go home without an endorsement," former DFL Chairman Brian Melendez said. "There are too many strong candidates jumping into that race. I don't think any of them is going to get to 60 percent after just a couple weeks in."

But another former chairman Mike Erlandson disagrees.

"Endorsing conventions like to endorse candidates and so I think that'll be a hard-fought thing," he says. "I think if there is an endorsement it will be (Ilhan) Omar who comes out on top because people will view that as something that is more about the future of the Democratic Party. A look forward rather than a look back."


Tom Hauser

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