On Tuesday, the House of Representatives could lose one of its most progressive members and the Democratic National Committee might be without a deputy chairman.
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) is considering running for attorney general in Minnesota, multiple sources close to the congressman told The Daily Beast.
“I will make a decision tomorrow because it’s the filing deadline,” Ellison told Politico on Monday evening after the rumor of the move spread throughout the day. A source directly familiar with the deliberations told The Daily Beast after the article was posted that there had been no final decision yet.
“It is being seriously looked at,” said the source, requesting to speak on background about the discussions. Ellison had previously filed to run again in his district but can make a decision to jump into the attorney general race by Tuesday.
Should Ellison choose to run for AG, it would spark a major shakeup at the DNC, where he is often seen as a direct line to the Bernie Sanders wing of the Democratic Party. It would also be yet another political shift in a state that has had a number of them in recent memory.
On Saturday, Attorney General Lori Swanson failed to get the endorsement of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party. After that, she withdrew and the convention endorsed Matt Pelikan, a Minneapolis attorney and activist. Swanson turned around on Monday and decided to run for governor instead, with retiring Rep. Rick Nolan as her running mate.
That’s when Ellison came in.
“I haven’t talked to him but heard he is very interested,” another source told The Daily Beast. “I do know if he runs it could be a big boost to the statewide ticket because he will mobilize progressives with his race and an open seat in his progressive Minneapolis district will also increase turnout.”
This is not the first time Ellison has considered a run at the attorney general position. In January, Politico reported that he was thinking about it. The congressman is one of the most recognized progressive figures in the House and was also briefly rumored as a potential replacement for Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) when he was forced out of office over harassment allegations.
—Maxwell Tani contributed reporting