Watch CBS News

MN GOP Party Goes After Republican AG Candidate For Not Dropping Out After Losing Party Nod

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The Minnesota Republican Party appears to be threatening to sue one of its own candidates for not dropping out of the race.

It's just the beginning of what promises to be a very heated race against current Attorney General Keith Ellison.

Doug Wardlow lost the party's nomination to Jim Schultz. They will face each other in the August 9 primary. WCCO spoke Thursday with Party Chair David Hann.

"With all of our candidates we have an agreement that we provide, its a legal agreement," Hann said. "Whether or not we will or won't [sue Wardlow] I guess is something I'm not prepared to really address at this time."

Wardlow says he is staying in the race.

"The endorsement process unfortunately was tainted by smears and by backroom deals," Wardlow said.

Wardlow says he doesn't believe this controversy will help the Democratic incumbent Ellison, but Professor David Schultz -- who is not related to candidate Jim Schultz -- disagrees.

Jim Schultz and Doug Wardlow
Jim Schultz and Doug Wardlow (credit: CBS)

"What it does, it wastes time, resources and attention span between now and August," David Schultz said.

Meanwhile, Jim Schultz -- who handily won the Republican Party endorsement -- has to campaign against Wardlow.

"It's something of a distraction, you know. And now we have to focus for two months instead of focusing exclusively on Keith Ellison," Jim Schultz said. "He is the attorney general, the chief law enforcement officer of our state who backed defunding the police."

Attorney General Ellison says that Republican talking point isn't true.

"I never said defund the police," Ellison said.

He did back the failed Minneapolis Charter Amendment that would have replaced the Minneapolis Police Department with a Department of Public Safety.

"What I have done in my official capacity is protect consumers, protected citizens, prosecuted criminals," Ellison said.

His record also includes the successful and unprecedented prosecution of two former police officers: Derek Chauvin and Kim Potter.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.