– Sen. Bernie Sanders is endorsing Minnesota U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison for state attorney general and will host rallies for him in Duluth and Minneapolis on Friday.

Ellison backed the 2016 presidential bid by Sanders, the progressive independent from Vermont, and has been a high-profile ally from the Democratic Party's more liberal wing. Sanders said that he was backing the Minneapolis DFLer because of his strong record of congressional leadership on worker and consumer rights and as a civil rights lawyer.

"Not only has Keith been a fierce ally of working people in Congress — fighting for the $15 minimum wage, for Medicare for All, to protect consumers, and against wage theft — he was also a former civil rights lawyer representing low-income clients," Sanders said. "With Keith as their attorney general, Minnesotans would have a fighter for working people, the discriminated against, and the economically oppressed."

Sanders also endorsed Joe Salazar of Colorado, another backer of his presidential campaign, in a Democratic primary this spring. (Salazar lost.)

Sanders and Ellison will rally supporters at First Avenue in Minneapolis at 11 a.m. on Friday (doors open at 9:30 a.m., music at 10:15). The pair will then travel to Duluth for a rally at Denfeld High School at 5 p.m. (doors open at 3:45, music at 4:15).

MAYA RAO