Education Minnesota endorses Keith Ellison for attorney general

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Chris Williams
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ST. PAUL, Minnesota. Oct. 18, 2018 – Education Minnesota has endorsed U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison in his campaign for attorney general of Minnesota. It is the union’s final endorsement leading into the 2018 election. 

The endorsement followed extensive debate among the 23 members of the Education Minnesota Political Action Committee. The PAC board is composed of volunteer educators from throughout Minnesota. They reviewed the candidate’s questionnaire, interviewed Ellison and participated in a roundtable discussion with the candidate, which was open to all Education Minnesota members.

A short video of PAC members explaining their decision is here.

Doug Wardlow, the Republican nominee for attorney general, did not seek the union’s endorsement and did not participate in the process.

“Keith has been a strong advocate for labor unions and public education for his whole career. His credentials as an advocate for civil rights and social justice, including for the LGBT community, are beyond question,” said Denise Specht, president of Education Minnesota. “Keith’s campaign as the ‘People’s Lawyer’ speaks to his commitment to working people, who need an advocate in an economy that’s often rigged against them.”

Wardlow’s background of fierce hostility to labor unions, his work for the Alliance Defending Freedom against LGBT policies and laws, and the thinly veiled racism of his law-and-order campaign rhetoric also influenced members of the PAC board.

“I fear for these students in our schools and what they will have to deal with an attorney general such as Doug Wardlow, who does not support them, or anything that they stand for,” said Heather Matthews, a public school teacher, member of the PAC board and a former constituent of Wardlow when he was in the Legislature.

PAC members were satisfied with Ellison’s handling of allegations of domestic abuse. Unlike most powerful men who have demanded that the public ignore similar claims, Ellison requested a bipartisan congressional investigation of the claims against him, after an initial investigation found no evidence in his case. Whether those seeking to represent us believe in fair, independent investigations is worth consideration.

About Education Minnesota
Education Minnesota is the voice for professional educators and students. Education Minnesota’s members include teachers and education support professionals in Minnesota’s public school districts, faculty members at Minnesota’s community and technical colleges and University of Minnesota campuses in Duluth and Crookston, retired educators and student teachers. Education Minnesota is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and AFL-CIO.