Democrat Keith Ellison and Democrat Doug Wardlow answered questions posed to them by the Minnesota Newspaper Association, below.
ELLISON: For the last 12 years, I have represented Minnesotans in Congress, where I have championed consumer, worker, and civil rights protections to defend the rights of Minnesotans against the interests of the powerful. I also served in the Minnesota House of Representatives. Before entering politics, I spent 16 years as an attorney specializing in civil rights and defense law, including five years as the Executive Director of the Legal Rights Center. As the leader of this public interest law firm, I oversaw a team of attorneys focused on delivering justice for Minnesotans who had nowhere else to turn.
WARDLOW: I am a native Minnesotan. I grew up in Eagan, the son of two public school teachers.
My dad also served in the Marine Corps. My parents instilled in me the value of public service. My wife and I now reside in Prior Lake, and we have three children, ages 8, 6 and 2. I want my children to have the same opportunities here in Minnesota that I had growing up.
I have spent my legal career championing the people’s most important legal and constitutional rights. For 14 years, I have fought for Minnesotans’ property rights in eminent-domain disputes, defended our free-speech rights in First Amendment cases, and fought for Minnesotans’ prosperity in international-trade disputes. That broad litigation experience, my particular expertise in constitutional litigation, and my experience in the law-making process serving as a state representative from Dakota County, have prepared me well to serve as Minnesota’s lawyer.
Why are you running for office? What are your personal priorities/initiatives?
ELLISON: I am running for Attorney General because working families in Minnesota need a fighter on their side. It is the Attorney General’s job to hold those in power accountable and protect and defend the rights of all Minnesotans.
As Attorney General, I will fight to make health care more affordable and accessible; to protect the rights of workers and ensure a fair economy for all; and will fight back against attacks on women’s equal pay and reproductive rights. I will take on the big drug companies, exploitative student loan services, and any company that tries to rip off everyday Minnesotans.
WARDLOW: My wife Jenny and I have three young children. I want them to grow up in a Minnesota where the streets are safe, the law is respected, and the weakest among us are protected. That's the job of the attorney general, and that's why I'm running.
As Attorney General, I will protect consumers, fight financial scams, prosecute welfare fraud, fight sanctuary-city policies, crack down on opioid pushers, combat elder abuse, fight human trafficking, and stand with law enforcement to make Minnesota safe.
How will you ensure that partisan politics does not affect your decisions?
ELLISON: As Attorney General, my work will be focused on improving the lives of all Minnesotans, regardless of party affiliation, race, religion, or zip code. I will work to make sure that we have a Minnesota that is fairer for everyone, a state where the interests of the people are put ahead of massive corporations and well-funded special interests. I want to bring our state together around issues that affect all Minnesotans, from wage theft, to the opioid crisis, student loans, and a fair economy for small businesses and working families.
I will work tirelessly every day to defend the legal and constitutional rights of all of the people of Minnesota regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, or party affiliation. I will stand up for the rule of law and work for a safe, fair, prosperous, and free Minnesota. To that end, I will appoint deputy and assistant attorneys general who can be trusted to stand up for the rule of law.