On a swing through the Minnesota State Fair on Friday, U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., said he picked up on one resounding theme from Hillary Clinton supporters looking to chat about the election: fear.
Ellison, who stopped by the DFL's fair booth to rally supporters for the Democratic presidential candidate said several people expressed worries about her opponent's comments and campaign tactics. He said Clinton supporters wanted to chat about many of Donald Trump's comments, from those on banning Muslims from entering the country to banning reporters from covering his political rallies.
The Minnesota congressman, who was initially a supporter of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, said he shared the same thoughts he's been taking on Clinton campaign visits across the country, from Nebraska to North Carolina. He said more former Sanders supporters are rallying around Clinton, in part because people like him have helped to push some topics up her agenda.
"This is the most progressive platform the Democratic party has ever seen," he said.
Ellison, the country's most prominent Muslim elected official, said the Clinton campaign has put a special focus on including Muslims in the campaign -- including seven people who took the stage at the Democratic National Convention.
Closer to home, Ellison said he's supportive of the campaign of the candidate who is poised to become the first Somali-American woman elected to a state legislature: Ilhan Omar, who won the primary in the Legislature's District 60B. Of the controversy over Omar's marriage and related immigration questions stirred up after Omar's primary victory, Ellison said he wasn't surprised.
He said the questions -- and Omar's answers -- were legitimate, but that the controversy was more about critics trying to take issue with someone breaking a barrier. Ellison said he believes Omar will be notable not just because of her status as the first Somali-American in the Legislature, but because she'll be a good legislator.
"She listens well, she works hard," he said. "She's going to be good."
Meanwhile, Ellison said he was disappointed by the recent Minnesota Supreme Court decision to block a minimum-wage charter amendment question from the Minneapolis ballot this fall, but applauded activists for getting the issue on the council's agenda.