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'Scumbag': Ellison-Fields debate turns nasty

A debate between Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., and GOP challenger Chris Fields got uncomfortably testy when Fields accuses Ellison of spending campaign cash to dig up dirt on his divorce. Ellison calls him a "low-life scumbag" and a "gutter-dweller."
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"Scumbag." "Gutter-dweller." Insults from a junior high schoolyard? No – congressional candidates debate.

Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., and GOP challenger Chris Fields traded some nasty barbs Thursday morning during a debate on KFAI (listen to the audio).

At one point near the middle of the debate, Fields accuses Ellison of using campaign cash to dig up dirt on his divorce, and Ellison ultimately calls him a "low-life scumbag" several times. The debate was temporarily halted, CityPages reports, in an effort to regain some decorum.

In the studio, KFAI News Director Dale Connelly cut the audio feed and had to step between the candidates to separate them, Patch reports. The Fifth District rivals did not shake hands, CityPages notes.

Ellison in a statement later apologized: "Today, my opponent made false statements about my personal family business in front of my daughter. I acted as a father and not a public servant, and I apologize."

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