The Minnesota GOP Party has endorsed its candidates for secretary of state and attorney general ahead of the November election.
At its endorsement convention Friday, party delegates voted to endorse Kim Crockett for secretary of state and Jim Schultz for attorney general.
The two candidates will head into August’s GOP primary with the endorsement. Crockett would face current Secretary of State Steve Simon, while Jim Schultz would face current Attorney General Keith Ellison.
Crockett beat out entrepreneur Kelly Jahner-Byrne for the endorsement.
“I’m pleased to accept the Republican party’s endorsement and honored to have won the confidence of all the people who support me to go forward and win in November,” Crockett wrote in a statement.
“My heart is full of gratitude to everyone who joined me in this battle to restore the public’s trust in our elections.”
The main theme of Crockett's campaign has been voting integrity, calling for a return to "civic traditions that unite us, like voting in person," even though more than 200,000 people live predominantly Republican rural areas that entirely use mail-in voting.
Crockett was among those who promoted "The Big Lie" of election fraud in 2020, describing without evidence the 2020 vote as "rigged."
She currently works as a legal advisor for Minnesota Voters Alliance, which has filed multiple lawsuits against Simon over his office’s handling of elections, according to the Star Tribune. Before this, she was suspended by right-wing think-tank the Center for the American Experiment for comments she made to the New York Times about Somali American refugees.
Schultz beat out Doug Wardlow for the endorsement. Wardlow, a former state legislator who was backed by MyPillow founder Mike Lindell, won the party’s endorsement in 2018 before eventually losing to Ellison in the general election.
"Since launching my campaign for Minnesota Attorney General six months ago, I have been humbled by the outpouring of support we have received from folks across the state,” said Schultz, who is a Harvard Law School graduate.
“Thank you to the delegates and supporters for entrusting me to take on far-left Attorney General Keith Ellison this November," he said, promising he would go on the offensive in his campaign to beat Ellison.
Like Crockett, Schultz has also made election security part of his platform, according to his website, and the Duluth News Tribune reports he has also backed voter ID laws – which Minnesota rejected in a 2012 referendum – and "railed against critical race theory and transgender women competing in women’s sports."
The DFL criticized Schultz’s stance on abortion, an issue highlighted in recent weeks amid the leak of a Supreme Court draft that could overturn Roe v. Wade. If overturned, Minnesota is currently poised to be one of the only places to access legal abortion in the Midwest.
The DFL pointed to anti-abortion statements made by Schultz at a party debate.
“We all know that, so as Attorney General, I will absolutely do everything I can to ensure that the most vulnerable among us, the unborn child, are defended aggressively,” Schultz is quoted as saying.