Despite facing allegations he physically and emotionally abused a former girlfriend, Minnesota Democrats are standing behind Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), who is campaigning to become Minnesota’s next attorney general.
Over the weekend, Minnesota’s Democratic-Farmer-Labor voted to endorse Ellison for his upcoming race.
According to the Minnesota Star Tribune, Ellison received 326 votes, or about 82 percent of delegates’ votes. Just 70 delegates did not support Ellison. Delegates voted via paper ballot instead of voice vote so they could “feel free to vote their conscience.”
“I want to tell you, face to face, that I never abused Karen,” Ellison said prior to the vote, referring to environmental activist Karen Monahan.
Whether or not delegates would support Ellison in light of the allegations remained a “major question” on Saturday, the Star Tribune reported.
After the vote, DFL Party Chair Ken Martin made it clear his party would fully stand behind Ellison.
“Our party is going to do everything it can to help Keith and the other candidates on the ballot,” he said.
Still, about a dozen protesters showed up outside the convention, chanting that “Ellison beats women,” according to the Star Tribune.
The endorsement came after Ellison secured the Democratic nomination in the race for Minnesota attorney general last Tuesday.
More about the allegations
Monahan alleges that Ellison dragged her off a bed by her legs while verbally berating her in 2016. Monahan’s son, who made the abuse allegations public last weekend, said a video of the incident exists. That video has not been released.
Ellison, who also serves as the deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee, has denied the allegations.