As we previewed yesterday, Minnesota Fifth District Rep. Keith Ellison has chosen to give up his sinecure in Congress to run for the office of Minnesota Attorney General. There is now a scramble among Democrats for both offices and for the office of governor as well. It is only sketched out by the Star Tribune story here.
State representative Ilhan Omar is among those who will seek the DFL endorsement to replace Ellison in Congress. Also filing today in the primary race for Ellison’s seat are state senators Patricia Torres and Bobby Joe Champion as well as former state House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher. Those of us thinking desperate thoughts may hypothesize that Kelliher sort of fills the sane Democratic niche that I anticipated materializing in a multicandidate primary. Nevertheless, she’s probably not where Fifth District Democrats are anymore.
What we have here is a case study in the civil war on the left that Steve has chronicled in 60 parts so far. Those of us viewing this part up close cannot enjoy the show. Minnesota has never seen a major party candidate for attorney general with Ellison’s shady past. That he might serve as the state’s chief law enforcement officer is a sick joke out of a dark satire. Minnesota has seen a major party candidate for Congress like Omar before — that would be Ellison — but she is even so something else again.
The prospect of the election of Ellison and Omar to the respective offices they seek is akin to the prospect of being hanged in a fortnight, as Samuel Johnson put it. It concentrates the mind wonderfully.