The possibility of an open Fifth Congressional District seat is bringing all kinds of DFLers out as potential replacements for U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison if he steps down to run the Democratic National Committee.
DFL state Sen. Scott Dibble of Minneapolis said last week he would run, after initially taking himself out of the mix. Other potential contenders for the safely DFL, Minneapolis-area seat are state Rep. Peggy Flanagan, state Sens. Patricia Torres Ray and Jeff Hayden, and Alondra Cano, a Minneapolis councilwoman.
Ellison is one of the top two candidates to run the DNC, and he’s vowed to give up his congressional seat if elected by more than 400 Democratic activists gathering next month.
Last week, Ellison squared off against his competition in a debate about the future of the party, how to handle a Trump presidency and whether the party should accept money from political action committees. Ellison is touting his experience boosting voter turnout in his district, from 150,000 to about 250,000 over several years.
“There are people who are in every single county and precinct who are dying to get involved,” Ellison said. “The DNC should be the place of choice to get involved.”
His chief competition is former Obama Labor Secretary Tom Perez.
Dibble said he took time to mull the decision over because it was going to be a “big campaign.”
“These are big decisions,” Dibble said. “It’s a lot to take on. It’s a huge responsibility. It’s a big campaign. I needed to be prudent and thoughtful.”