Democratic Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison will be resigning his position in Congress shortly and leaving his position with the Democratic National Committee to focus on becoming Minnesota’s next Attorney General, according to reports.
Politico reports that Ellison, who has been in Congress for a little less than three terms, is “chafing” at being in the minority and feels as though he was cheated out of the DNC Chair position, which eventually went to Tom Perez.
He’d prefer, Politico says, to be a leader in the anti-Trump “resistance,” and since attorneys general have largely been leading the way in that effort, Ellison may take the opportunity to run for the open AG seat in his home state.
He’ll have to make the decision quickly; the deadline to file as a candidate is Tuesday at midnight. Ellison was reportedly in “deep discussions” about the paperwork as recently as late Monday night.
Ellison had big dreams for his time in Congress, but after a contentious race for DNC chair, he’s found himself less a darling of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party and more a problem to be handled.
His frequent brushes with anti-Semitism and his close association with virulently anti-Semitic preacher and Nation of Islam head Louis Farrakhan have kept him out of leadership roles, not because the Democratic party isn’t anxious to embrace “intersectionality” but because the Democratic party doesn’t want to be associated with Ellison’s beliefs — at least not publicly.
The timing is interesting, though. Ellison is the first Democratic House member to jump ship, and retaining his seat isn’t guaranteed, if only because Minnesota is such a strange and unpredictable state, from a political perspective. It’s worth asking whether Democrats are just as nervous about November as Republicans are, now that their approval numbers are no higher than the president’s.