Minnesota AG jumps into the race for governor

Lori Swanson

DFL failed to endorse Lori Swanson for a fourth term as attorney general.

Posted: Jun 4, 2018 4:25 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota Democratic Attorney General Lori Swanson jumped into the state's crowded race for governor on Monday, just two days after being snubbed by party activists for re-election to her current job.

Swanson announced her plans just five months after passing up the race and just a day before the state's filing deadline closed. In a surprise development, she was passed over at the party's convention Saturday for endorsement to a fourth term as attorney general.

Swanson said that loss gave her time to consider her options. Though her opponent for attorney general portrayed her as too cautious, Swanson said she lost support because she was unwilling to take various pledges sought by activists.

"I evaluated and decided to move forward this way," she said during a news conference Monday at a downtown Minneapolis hotel.

She dubbed herself and her running mate, U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan — who previously announced plans to retire from Congress this year — as "Minnesota's Problem-Solving Ticket."

Swanson's entry makes for a crowded and potentially bruising Democratic primary in August, as Democrats try to hang on to the office when Gov. Mark Dayton leaves office. State Rep. Erin Murphy won the party's endorsement over the weekend, though U.S. Rep. Tim Walz is also running in the primary.

Swanson's late pivot also will trigger a game of musical chairs within the party for the attorney general's race, beckoning many state lawmakers who had previously planned to run before Swanson initially decided to seek a fourth term.

But above all, it creates a crowded primary for governor at a time when Democrats are struggling to unify behind different approaches in how they should seek to replace Dayton. Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson clinched the Republican nod to run for governor, but Democrats expect they'll face former two-term Gov. Tim Pawlenty in November.

The state's Democratic party endorsed Murphy — who appealed to the party's more liberal factions — over Walz, the longtime southwestern Minnesota Democrat who touted his campaign's statewide appeal with a metropolitan Democratic running mate, Rep. Peggy Flanagan. State Auditor Rebecca Otto was also running but dropped out of the endorsement fight early Saturday. She suspended her campaign on Monday.

Swanson has been one of Democrats' most consistent performers in statewide elections in Minnesota, winning each of her three terms as the state's top attorney with roughly 53 percent of the vote. She's cruised to victory against little-known Republicans by at least 11 percentage points in each race.

But unrest with Swanson among the Democratic party's more liberal factions led her to withdraw from the party's endorsement for attorney general — and the same forces could be a factor in the governor's race.

Matt Pelikan, a little-known Democratic activist and attorney who clinched the party's nod for attorney general, criticized Swanson as too cautious when it comes to challenging the National Rifle Association and for quietly dropping a lawsuit against President Donald Trump's travel ban.

Democratic activists packed inside a Rochester convention hall roared when Pelikan narrowly trailed Swanson after the first round of voting. Swanson pulled out soon after.

"Democrats are ready for strong, authentic progressives," Pelikan said.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 486434

Reported Deaths: 6575
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1009131586
Ramsey43165803
Dakota36375392
Anoka33335388
Washington22121258
Stearns18752201
St. Louis14822263
Scott13308107
Wright12538116
Olmsted1181788
Sherburne874172
Carver775640
Clay692387
Rice670791
Blue Earth596635
Kandiyohi579674
Crow Wing521282
Chisago499545
Otter Tail483270
Benton447790
Winona418549
Mower405731
Douglas393368
Nobles387247
Goodhue386269
Polk343763
McLeod340049
Beltrami338651
Morrison324747
Itasca313646
Lyon313644
Becker312542
Isanti306756
Steele301511
Carlton300149
Freeborn282623
Pine282016
Nicollet259241
Todd248330
Brown245537
Le Sueur235720
Mille Lacs227947
Cass220424
Waseca209317
Meeker207434
Martin189928
Wabasha18673
Roseau180317
Hubbard160740
Houston157414
Dodge15294
Renville150340
Redwood147027
Fillmore13768
Chippewa136735
Pennington136316
Cottonwood135020
Wadena131020
Faribault123417
Aitkin119033
Watonwan11758
Sibley117310
Rock115914
Kanabec107519
Pipestone101624
Yellow Medicine97617
Murray9488
Jackson93610
Swift87918
Pope8075
Marshall78015
Lake74218
Stevens7418
Clearwater71914
Lac qui Parle68516
Wilkin67411
Koochiching61911
Big Stone5163
Lincoln5092
Grant4918
Norman4788
Unassigned44568
Mahnomen4417
Kittson40921
Red Lake3625
Traverse3075
Lake of the Woods2191
Cook1180

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 335218

Reported Deaths: 5443
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk51785551
Linn19463313
Scott17080210
Black Hawk14924292
Woodbury13778212
Johnson1312174
Dubuque12416194
Dallas1019092
Pottawattamie9828143
Story959345
Warren511674
Clinton500784
Cerro Gordo498882
Webster494487
Sioux479169
Marshall463072
Des Moines427161
Muscatine424191
Buena Vista412237
Wapello4025108
Jasper386266
Plymouth367478
Lee354252
Marion339869
Jones284654
Henry279637
Bremer268754
Carroll266349
Crawford252235
Boone242830
Benton240354
Washington239047
Mahaska215246
Jackson209738
Dickinson202440
Tama202365
Kossuth198055
Delaware185540
Clay183825
Winneshiek182827
Fayette178635
Page177819
Buchanan176929
Wright173831
Hamilton173742
Cedar171523
Hardin169439
Harrison167169
Clayton159854
Butler158831
Mills147920
Floyd147741
Poweshiek147730
Lyon145541
Cherokee145336
Allamakee142347
Madison141918
Iowa139423
Hancock137630
Grundy132030
Winnebago130231
Calhoun129311
Cass128751
Jefferson128334
Appanoose123147
Louisa122341
Mitchell120440
Chickasaw119615
Union118731
Sac118318
Shelby116433
Emmet115040
Humboldt113525
Franklin109019
Guthrie108928
Palo Alto100921
Howard99021
Montgomery96736
Clarke94720
Keokuk92029
Monroe89428
Adair81028
Ida81032
Pocahontas80919
Davis76323
Monona76327
Greene72910
Lucas71421
Osceola68215
Worth6667
Taylor64112
Decatur5699
Fremont5599
Van Buren53718
Ringgold50520
Audubon4739
Wayne45821
Adams3184
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