Former Attorney General Mike Hatch, who filed to run for his old job Tuesday, said Wednesday he is pulling out of the race.
“I didn’t know so many people would go in,” said Hatch, who listed three of the five other DFL candidates as people he would support. “If I knew they all were going to jump in, I would have saved 300 bucks.”
U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, state Rep. Debra Hilstrom, former Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman, former Ramsey County Attorney Tom Foley and DFL-endorsed Minneapolis lawyer Matt Pelikan also filed to run Tuesday. The mass entrance of DFL candidates into the race followed Attorney General Lori Swanson’s announcement that she was not running for re-election and would instead seek the governor’s office.
Republican candidates for attorney general include former state Sen. Bob Lessard, perennial candidate Sharon Anderson and former state Rep. Doug Wardlow, who has the GOP endorsement.
Hatch, who was attorney general from 1999 to 2007, said Hilstrom, Rothman and Foley all have a lot of experience and would be a good fit for the job. He said he might endorse one of them later on.
He declined to comment on Ellison, and has said Pelikan does not have sufficient courtroom experience to hold the office.
Hatch was one of the first people to file Tuesday morning, after Swanson announced her change of plans Monday. When he was filing, Hatch said he would withdraw if the right person entered the race.
“The object was to get people in the race. I didn’t want it to be just a default for Mr. Pelikan,” he said.