Labor unions reaffirm support for Ellison

Keith Ellison, the DFL candidate for attorney general, stood with Minnesota labor union leaders during a campaign news conference Thursday. Tim Pugmire | MPR News

Minnesota labor leaders declared in a news conference Thursday that they are still standing by Keith Ellison in his bid for state attorney general.

With Election Day less than a month away, officials from unions representing a broad range of workers said they remain loyal to Ellison. They stressed that he has been consistently in their corner for years.

Ellison has spent much of the campaign denying ex-girlfriend Karen Monahan’s allegation of domestic abuse.

Despite that allegation, Bill McCarthy, president of the Minnesota AFL-CIO, said workers are sticking with their earlier endorsements of Ellison.

“Our membership knows that Keith has stood with them over the years on every front, and we’re going to stand with him now,” McCarthy said.

McCarthy and other labor leaders took turns criticizing Ellison’s Republican opponent, Doug Wardlow, for positions he took as a state legislator that they view as anti-union.

Ellison said he is proud to have the support.

“We have got to make sure that in our state we have an attorney general who will stand up for workers.”

In a statement, Wardlow accused Ellison of wanting to talk about anything other than the allegations against him. He also countered the anti-union charge.

“As attorney general, I will protect and defend all Minnesotans,” Wardlow said. “I will be an independent voice beholden to no political party.”

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