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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: 584227

Reported Deaths: 7297
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1211481718
Ramsey50494868
Dakota45177443
Anoka40908433
Washington26429279
Stearns21950221
St. Louis17568302
Scott17036124
Wright15771136
Olmsted1312197
Sherburne1144384
Carver1035045
Clay809292
Rice7964106
Blue Earth740941
Crow Wing654188
Kandiyohi648282
Chisago584051
Otter Tail568978
Benton561497
Goodhue471972
Mower461432
Douglas460474
Winona448950
Itasca421153
McLeod417758
Morrison414560
Isanti410762
Nobles406748
Beltrami388558
Steele382015
Polk380368
Becker376450
Lyon357850
Carlton340953
Freeborn339929
Pine324121
Nicollet321443
Brown303540
Mille Lacs298252
Le Sueur286422
Todd278731
Cass266328
Meeker251340
Waseca235822
Martin228831
Roseau206119
Wabasha20383
Hubbard184241
Dodge18193
Renville178243
Redwood171536
Houston170215
Cottonwood163121
Fillmore154110
Wadena153621
Pennington153319
Chippewa151338
Faribault150319
Kanabec143024
Sibley141310
Aitkin133236
Watonwan13049
Rock127319
Jackson121411
Pipestone114226
Yellow Medicine113620
Pope10846
Murray10579
Swift104218
Stevens89211
Marshall87617
Clearwater85816
Koochiching81615
Lake80619
Wilkin79912
Lac qui Parle75022
Big Stone5934
Lincoln5733
Grant5648
Mahnomen5418
Norman5379
Unassigned49793
Kittson48222
Red Lake3957
Traverse3685
Lake of the Woods3193
Cook1560

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 364967

Reported Deaths: 5920
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk57277621
Linn20729334
Scott19808240
Black Hawk15757308
Woodbury15091228
Johnson1441183
Dubuque13326209
Dallas1111198
Pottawattamie11043168
Story1054948
Warren573688
Clinton552092
Cerro Gordo536389
Sioux512874
Webster510993
Marshall481075
Muscatine474699
Des Moines451766
Wapello4284122
Buena Vista424040
Jasper413771
Plymouth400179
Lee373155
Marion360575
Jones296957
Henry290737
Carroll284752
Bremer282860
Crawford265840
Boone262734
Benton255055
Washington253350
Dickinson247543
Mahaska229351
Jackson220942
Kossuth215164
Clay214725
Tama208971
Delaware208240
Winneshiek196733
Page192222
Buchanan190431
Cedar188923
Fayette184741
Hardin184643
Wright183436
Hamilton179249
Harrison179273
Clayton169156
Butler164234
Mills161422
Madison160419
Floyd159642
Cherokee158538
Lyon157541
Poweshiek154733
Allamakee150351
Iowa148124
Hancock146834
Winnebago141231
Cass137554
Calhoun136613
Grundy136033
Emmet133940
Jefferson132135
Shelby130437
Sac130119
Appanoose128048
Louisa127849
Union127832
Mitchell125742
Chickasaw123815
Guthrie120829
Humboldt118826
Franklin117421
Palo Alto112223
Howard104122
Montgomery102838
Unassigned10080
Clarke99824
Keokuk95331
Monroe95129
Ida90234
Adair86232
Pocahontas85422
Monona82730
Davis81824
Osceola77916
Greene77610
Lucas76823
Worth7368
Taylor65612
Fremont6229
Decatur6069
Van Buren55718
Ringgold55524
Wayne53223
Audubon50610
Adams3384
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