In this July 18, 2018, file photo, Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., asks a question at a House Committee on Financial Services hearing in Washington. Ellison decided to leave Congress for a chance to make a difference as his state’s attorney general, but an ex-girlfriend’s late accusation of domestic abuse clouded what had been his race to lose. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
Rep. Keith Ellison, the deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee and first Muslim elected to Congress, won his party’s nomination Tuesday for Minnesota attorney general in a race clouded in the final days by an ex-girlfriend’s allegation of domestic abuse.
The allegation surfaced the weekend before Tuesday’s primary when the son of Ellison’s former girlfriend, Karen Monahan, posted on Facebook that he had seen angry text messages from Ellison to his mother and a video that showed him dragging Monahan off a bed.
Ellison easily emerged out of a crowded field that included state Rep. Debra Hilstrom, former Department of Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman, former Ramsey County Attorney Tom Foley and attorney Matt Pelikan.
Monahan, a Minneapolis political organizer, said via Twitter that her son’s posting was “true” but did not respond to an Associated Press request to review the messages and video. She later told Minnesota Public Radio News that she would not release the video because it is “humiliating.”
While Ellison called for Sen. Al Franken to step down when sexual misconduct allegations surfaced against him last November, Ellison said Tuesday night that there’s a crucial difference in their cases.
“In this case, it’s not true of me. It’s just not true. We’ll talk more about it in the coming days,” he said.
Ellison earlier denied any abuse or threatening messages and said the supposed video “does not exist because I have never behaved in this way.”
Ellison, 54 and divorced, is a six-term congressman and a leader within the Democratic Party. He became deputy chairman of the DNC last year after falling just short of the top job.