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.

Confirmed Cases: 37624

Reported Deaths: 1503
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin12150785
Ramsey4805226
Stearns234519
Dakota228690
Anoka2180107
Nobles16626
Olmsted110115
Washington106940
Mower9452
Rice8357
Scott7004
Clay58538
Kandiyohi5701
Wright4565
Blue Earth4532
Todd4002
Carver3641
Lyon3092
Sherburne3075
Freeborn2900
Steele2281
Watonwan2160
Benton2143
St. Louis17715
Martin1635
Nicollet15912
Cottonwood1340
Goodhue1298
Winona12215
Crow Wing10612
Pine1030
Le Sueur981
Chisago971
Otter Tail931
McLeod880
Carlton850
Dodge840
Polk812
Chippewa781
Unassigned7637
Isanti720
Itasca6412
Waseca640
Douglas620
Meeker611
Morrison591
Murray580
Becker550
Faribault550
Jackson550
Sibley542
Pennington500
Pipestone371
Mille Lacs342
Renville322
Wabasha310
Brown302
Rock300
Yellow Medicine300
Beltrami290
Fillmore280
Houston250
Swift211
Norman200
Wilkin203
Redwood180
Cass152
Wadena150
Aitkin140
Big Stone140
Kanabec141
Koochiching141
Roseau130
Marshall120
Grant100
Lincoln100
Pope100
Mahnomen81
Clearwater70
Hubbard60
Lake60
Traverse50
Lac qui Parle40
Stevens40
Red Lake30
Kittson20
Cook10
Lake of the Woods00

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 30975

Reported Deaths: 720
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk6464179
Woodbury321544
Black Hawk225258
Buena Vista171111
Johnson12648
Dallas126329
Linn126282
Marshall104319
Scott77810
Story7623
Pottawattamie72111
Wapello70630
Dubuque68322
Crawford6772
Muscatine62944
Sioux4630
Tama46229
Wright3801
Louisa36013
Jasper32317
Plymouth3165
Warren2731
Dickinson2642
Washington2369
Webster2132
Hamilton1871
Cerro Gordo1561
Boone1481
Clay1330
Clarke1312
Allamakee1284
Mahaska11517
Shelby1140
Clinton1071
Poweshiek1048
Carroll961
Pocahontas941
Bremer926
Franklin890
Des Moines882
Henry863
Emmet850
Cedar821
Taylor790
Monona760
Cherokee751
Floyd722
Hardin700
Marion700
Guthrie664
Benton651
Sac630
Jefferson590
Osceola590
Jones560
Humboldt541
Butler532
Harrison530
Lee532
Hancock510
Iowa510
Buchanan501
Monroe506
Calhoun492
Delaware491
Fayette480
Madison452
Clayton433
Lyon410
Palo Alto410
Davis391
Winneshiek380
Grundy370
Mitchell370
Mills360
Howard350
Kossuth340
Lucas304
Greene290
Jackson290
Chickasaw280
Winnebago280
Union270
Ida230
Cass220
Appanoose203
Keokuk201
Page200
Van Buren200
Worth190
Audubon161
Unassigned160
Adair150
Ringgold150
Decatur110
Montgomery102
Wayne100
Adams80
Fremont70
Rochester
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