By a tally of 326-70, the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party voted Saturday to endorse Keith Ellison for state attorney general, allowing Ellison to access party fundraising and other resources, the Star Tribune reported.
Ellison won the state’s primary for attorney general on Tuesday, defeating four other candidates.
The endorsement follows allegations last week by his ex-girlfriend, Karen Monahan, and her son, that Ellison physically and emotionally abused Monahan during a relationship lasting several years. In a lengthy statement last Sunday, Monahan accused Ellison of having narcissistic personality disorder and causing her post-traumatic stress disorder. She also said Ellison physically dragged her off a bed in a 2016 incident.
Monahan’s statement followed a post on Facebook by her son, Austin Monahan, that referred to an alleged video of the incident. Ellison has repeatedly denied the allegations, saying last week, “This video does not exist because I never behaved in this way, and any characterization otherwise is false.” Monahan later said she would not publicly release the video.
On Saturday, Ellison told DFL delegates, “I want to tell you, face to face, that I never abused Karen,” the Star Tribune reported. “Despite everything, I still care about her as a person and I don’t want anybody to say anything insulting to her at all.”
DFL Party Chair Ken Martin said the party would “do everything it can to help” Ellison and other candidates. Martin added later in a statement that Ellison would be “a champion for families and fight to hold powerful interests accountable,” the newspaper said.
One delegate described her decision to support Ellison:
Roann Cramer, a Minneapolis delegate and Ellison supporter, said Saturday that she knew Ellison and Monahan had a “messy relationship” but said she still supported the candidate because she didn’t believe that he was abusive.
“We have an allegation that’s a serious allegation and I want to take that seriously,” Cramer said. “But it is as far as I can tell one allegation about one event that took a couple of minutes years ago. … I’ve got 12 years of experience with this guy, I’ve never seen anything like that from him.”
DFL Party co-chair Tim O’Brien said the party could cancel its endorsement if new information comes to light regarding the allegations against Ellison.
Ellison has represented Minnesota’s 5th congressional district since 2007 and became deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee last year.