District 5 DFL calls special convention to sort chaos in race for Keith Ellison's seat

Six candidates have thrown their names in the hat to replace Ellison.
Publish date:

Keith Ellison's decision to run for Minnesota Attorney General set off a chain reaction on Tuesday among those seeking to replace him in the state's 5th Congressional District.

By the Tuesday deadline, as many as eight Democrats had filed to fill his seat in Congress, hours after Ellison announced he wouldn't seek re-election as he runs for AG.

According to the Secretary of State website, there are currently 6 DFL candidates for the 5th District: State Rep. Ilhan Omar, former House Speaker Margaret Kelliher, state Sens. Patricia Torres and Bobby Joe Champion, realtor Frank Drake, and Somali-American DFL Caucus founder Jamal Abdulahi.

It makes for a crowded field in the August primary, which is why the 5th Congressional District DFL on Thursday evening announced a special convention will be held on Sunday, June 17 so local delegates can give their endorsement to one candidate.

"Congressman Ellison’s decision to run for Attorney General has resulted in a great deal of confusion and interest regarding how the DFL party will handle the primary election to fill his seat," the DFL group wrote.

"The elected delegates of our party unit deserve the chance to express their opinion in the primary race, and if they so choose, endorse a candidate. It is also in the best interests of the DFL to hold a convention as soon as possible in order to give any potential endorsement the most weight."

Today's Top Stories

– Matt Kalil finds another excuse for poor play in Carolina.

– Playtime over for the moose on Isle Royale – the wolves are coming.

– Want the latest stories direct to your inbox? Sign up for our daily newsletters.

Complaints about the decision

The reaction to the district DFL's Facebook announcement wasn't particularly positive, with some of those responding saying they'd prefer the candidates go straight to a primary without an endorsement.

Sara Christensen wrote that "this seems like a bad idea and waste of money."

"We have a primary system for a reason, so given how late in the game, why not just allow the primary to be the deciding factor? Let the entire district have their voices heard," she wrote.

"Sad to see this decision as it will do little to help build the party, have no bearing on who appears on the ballot, and be poorly attended," Dick Senese wrote.

There were also a fair few complaints that the convention will beheld at lunchtime on Father's Day.

The 5th District DFL said however that the decision to hold the convention "is supported by an overwhelming majority of the CD5 Executive Committee."

The convention will be held at the Clara Barton Open School on Colfax Avenue South in Minneapolis starting at noon on June 17.

Next Up


Pair escape uninjured as plane crashes moments after takeoff

It crashed about a half mile southwest of Faribault Airport.

Screen Shot 2021-04-22 at 4.12.50 PM

For The Week: Making cocktails at home? Here's how to do it right

Lindsay Guentzel's For The Week column features simple food and drink tips.

coronavirus, covid-19

Mayo Clinic study provides 'best guess' about pandemic's future in MN

Minnesota could be seeing decreasing numbers into the summer if the study is correct.

daunte wright funeral - siblings

Mourners remember Daunte Wright, plead for justice

Wright was killed by a now-former Brooklyn Center police officer on April 11.


HealthPartners: COVID hospitalizations driven by unvaccinated, middle aged adults

The health provider says the average age of its hospitalized patients is trending downwards.

Andrew Thomas booking photo

Man suspected of shooting at National Guard in Minneapolis faces more charges

He has now been charged in Hennepin County District Court with more serious crimes.


Investigation finds EPA mishandled oversight for PolyMet mine permits

A new report found the EPA didn't follow its own procedures when it submitted comments on the proposed project.


MDH's new COVID guidance urges weekly testing for those involved in sports

Those not involved in school sports are still advised to get tested every two weeks.

Trey Lance

With loaded QB draft class, now is the time for Vikings to act

With a strong class, this year might be the time to select Kirk Cousins' successor.


Rep. Ilhan Omar wins DFL endorsement for 5th District race

The state representative won support at the hastily scheduled special convention.

Who got endorsements at the DFL, GOP conventions on Friday?

Endorsements were handed out to Senate candidates.

After Ellison backs marijuana legalization, third party candidate backs him

Noah Johnson will try and direct his supporters to vote for Keith Ellison.

Checking in on the Keith Ellison-Doug Wardlow AG race

First it was Ellison, now Wardlow is coming under increasing scrutiny.

Of the 10 districts with the highest voter turnout, 3 were in MN

Minnesota once again had the highest turnout of any state in November's mid-terms.

RECAP: Minnesota primary election results 2018

The latest updates as tens of thousands of votes are counted.

Tim Pawlenty won't seek endorsement at GOP convention

He'll focus his efforts on the Republican primary, he confirmed.