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Minnesota attorney general candidate Doug Wardlow has announced he'll run in a primary race against MN GOP Party-endorsed candidate Jim Schultz. 

Following his announcement Tuesday, Wardlow faced blowback from state and local party leaders for breaking his promise to honor the party's endorsement after he failed to beat Schultz at Friday's endorsement convention.

Wardlow, a former state representative who lost his first re-election bid, ran for attorney general in 2018 with the party's endorsement before losing to Keith Ellison in the general election. 

In a video Tuesday, Wardlow alleged his opponents "brokered a back-room deal" to hand Schultz, a newcomer, the endorsement. 

"We should not tolerate politicians who lie and rig the game in order to subvert the people's will," Wardlow said, describing Schultz's campaign staffers as "swamp creatures". 

In response, the Minnesota GOP released a statement including a link to a February interview Wardlow gave in which he stated he would "absolutely" abide by the party's endorsement.

Schultz released a statement Tuesday slamming Wardlow for breaking his vow.

"With his announcement, Doug has lost my respect and that of the hundreds of thousands of Republican Party faithful who took him at his word," Schultz stated. "There is nothing more representative of the establishment swamp than a career politician who fails to honor his promises." 

In a statement Tuesday, Mike Lonergan, the state party's executive director, said Wardlow made the same promise to the MNGOP Nominations Committee.

"At the time, we assumed Doug Wardlow to be sincere, but sadly it seems it was an empty promise," Lonergan stated, urging Wardlow to end his campaign.

"If he does not, the Republican Party of Minnesota is 100 percent committed to defending our endorsement in the primary," he concluded.

Local party leaders from Wardlow's former legislative district also criticized Wardlow's decision.

Wardlow later on Tuesday gave an interview to former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon, who is facing charges of criminal contempt of Congress and was previously pardoned by then-President Trump after being accused of fraud.

During the interview, Wardlow denied conceding to Schultz at the endorsing convention. 

"I withdrew my candidacy from seeking the endorsement of the state party," he said. "That's all I did and I did that very specifically."

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