MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Republican Doug Wardlow, who lost the attorney general race in 2018 and failed to secure his party's endorsement for the position last weekend, says he will still run in the primary.
On Friday, the Minnesota GOP voted to endorse Jim Schultz in the attorney general's race. In a video released Tuesday, Wardlow said, without offering evidence, that his "opponents brokered a backroom deal to wrest away the endorsement."
Wardlow said that in the days since he lost the endorsement, "hundreds" have "reached out and urged me to continue the fight."
Schultz responded to the video, saying Wardlow was "beaten decisively" at the convention.
"With his announcement, Doug has lost my respect and that of the hundreds of thousands of Republican Party faithful who took him at this word," he said. ""Doug has now lost three consecutive elections. Should he move forward with his plans, we will make it four consecutive elections in August."
The Minnesota Republican Party also criticized Wardlow's announcement, calling his previous statements about abiding by the endorsement an "empty promise."
"We ask Doug Wardlow to honor the commitment he made to delegates and respect their decision by ending his campaign for Attorney General," the party said. "If he does not, the Republican Party of Minnesota is 100 percent committed to defending our endorsement in the primary."
Wardlow lost to Democrat Keith Ellison in 2018. Ellison is running for reelection.
Minnesotans have not elected a Republican attorney general since 1966.
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