Minnesota U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison got a prime speaking slot at the Democratic National Convention Monday night as he introduced Bernie Sanders for his prime time speech capping off the first night of the gathering in Philadelphia.
“As a Sanders supporter, I will always remember ‘feeling the Bern’ in Minnesota,” said Ellison, whose 5th Congressional District includes Minneapolis and several inner ring suburbs. “Six thousand in Duluth, 14,000 in St. Paul – Bernie sparked the beginning of a revolution.”
Ellison was among a relatively few Democratic members of Congress to back the Vermont senator’s surprisingly strong outsider campaign against Clinton. The contest has continued to cause frayed feelings among Democrats as they gathered in Philadelphia on Monday, with some Sanders supporters booing speakers from the stage as the proceedings got underway in the afternoon.
“I’m kind of conflicted,” said Gabe Aderhold, a 21-year-old Sanders delegate from Edina. “I think that party unity is important. To defeat Donald Trump this fall is my number one goal. I just think some things could have been done better to bring us together ahead of the convention.”
But the crowd was united as Ellison came on, and he struck a message of unity in his brief introduction.
“Together, Democrats, we will make our voices heard in November when we defeat Donald Trump and elect Hillary Clinton the next president of the United States,” Ellison said. “But tonight, let’s raise our voices in gratitude to a man who helped make this party greater than ever.”