Democratic Attorney General Keith Ellison and Republican challenger Jim Schultz attacked each other with increasing intensity on crime and abortion Sunday night in their final debate.

Ellison said Schultz will "absolutely take your right to a legal, safe abortion away." Schultz disputed that, saying he disappointed conservatives earlier this year when he publicly said he would not leverage the attorney general's office to fight abortion access.

On crime, Schultz criticized Ellison for supporting the failed ballot amendment to replace the Minneapolis Police Department with a new public safety agency. Ellison responded that "defunding the police was never a good idea and it was even worse phrasing," but that reform was needed after Minneapolis cops killed George Floyd.

The two candidates disagreed about the direction of the state's top legal office during the debate at St. Paul College broadcast on KSTP-TV without a live audience.

Democratic Secretary of State Steve Simon and his Republican opponent, Kim Crockett, also debated. GOP gubernatorial nominee Scott Jensen got 30 minutes of airtime after the two debates because DFL incumbent Gov. Tim Walz declined the invitation.

Recent polls show a tight race between Ellison and Schultz. Schultz has made crime the focus of his campaign, saying Ellison hasn't done enough to support police and quash crime. Ellison accuses Schultz of lacking understanding about the mission of the office. He repeated that the office can't initiate prosecutions and can only step in at the behest of county attorneys.

Ellison portrayed himself as a seasoned, successful litigator, saying that Schultz spent the pandemic raising $2.6 billion for a hedge fund. He emphasized Schultz's lack of trial experience, slowing down for dramatic effect when he said, "Jim has never set foot in a courtroom in his life."

Schultz refused to give Ellison credit for leading the team that prosecuted former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin and said he, too, would have "delivered justice for George Floyd." He said Ellison sat in the back and took notes.

"How would you know?" Ellison shot back. "You have no idea what it takes to prosecute a complex criminal case."

Ellison and Schultz have already debated multiple times and their familiarity showed in their sharpened responses.

Speaking to reporters after the debate, Schultz suggested he might use a state statute that gives the Attorney General's Office prosecuting authority over racketeering cases to take cases from metro county attorneys he thinks aren't aggressive enough.

"In the metro here, I've been very disappointed with two county attorneys in particular," Schultz said. "I would absolutely look at doing this much more aggressively in the event of the election of Mary Moriarty, to be candid with you, in Hennepin County."

Moriarty is a former Hennepin County chief public defender running for county attorney against retired judge Martha Holton Dimick.

Specifically, Schultz said he would seek to aggressively prosecute cases involving carjacking and drug-trafficking rings.

In the Secretary of State debate, two-term DFL incumbent Simon described what he views as Crockett's contempt for elections and ballot access.

"Minnesotans, don't hire an arsonist to be your fire chief," Simon said, alluding to Crockett's attempts to falsely describe the 2020 election as illegitimate.

Crockett faulted Simon for supporting expanded mail-in voting and same-day voter registration. Simon called same-day registration the crown jewel in Minnesota's elections.

The GOP challenger supports requiring voters to present photo identification with a current address when they vote, but Simon said that would exclude too many people.

The two were asked whether they believe the 2020 election outcome is still in doubt.

Simon said no, and said Crockett's gone down a "rabbit-hole" of conspiracy theories that are "fanning the flames" and "eating at the fabric of democracy." Of 3.3 million votes cast in 2020, Simon said there were only 17 convictions for voter fraud-related crimes.

Crockett, contrary to her previous statements, said the last presidential election is settled and "there's no fanning of the flames." And she said she will accept her own election's outcome unless there's a recount.

After the two debates, Jensen was alone for 30 minutes on the stage. He opened by saying that when he is governor, "We will have safer streets and we will have a sizzling economy."

On abortion, he was asked whether he had shifted his position because a ban is no longer popular or whether he had an evolution in his thinking.

Jensen, who used to support an abortion ban, said it was an "evolution" in his thinking after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.