Minnesota voters heading to the polls on Tuesday will be reminded of domestic abuse allegations against Democratic attorney general nominee Keith Ellison.
A new statewide ad highlights charges that Ellison physically and verbally abused women. The issue has dogged the congressman throughout his bid to become Minnesota's next attorney general.
"Keith Ellison's former girlfriend says he repeatedly assaulted her—and forcibly dragged her off her bed by her ankles while screaming profanities," the ad says. "In 2006, another girlfriend accused Ellison of abuse, saying he 'berated' and 'pushed' her."
The Ellison campaign did not respond to multiple requests for comment. The candidate has denied the allegations.
The ad goes on to link domestic violence to the ability of women to fight back against their abusers, highlighting Ellison's support for gun control. It says the Democrat's position would "make Minnesotans less safe," adding that Ellison's "own patterns of abuse shouldn’t allow him to threaten our rights."
Ellison is the second-highest-ranking Democrat in the country, having narrowly lost a bid to lead the national party. The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) has spent $100,000 on the race to bolster nominee Doug Wardlow. The latest round of ads will air through Tuesday's election. RAGA spokesman Zack Roday said Minnesota voters deserve to hear about Ellison's "radical" record on issues of public safety.
"Every time it matters, Keith Ellison is on the wrong side of public safety issues: cop killers over law enforcement, criminals over children, sex offenders over victims," Roday said in an email. "Keith Ellison’s extreme views and personal shortcoming are disqualifying; he is a dangerous choice for attorney general."
Minnesota is among the most closely watched states in the country heading into the midterm elections with four congressional districts considered toss-ups or on the verge of flipping against the incumbent heading into Tuesday. Democrats have enjoyed steady polling advantages in statewide races for Senate and governor. The attorney general's race, however, has been seen as a pick-up opportunity for Republicans. The candidates were even in September before Wardlow opened a 7-point lead in October, according to statewide polling, even as Ellison held a nearly $100,000 edge in fundraising.