Attorney General State Executive Office

Elections: 1857-present. Elections for Attorney General were held for two-year terms in odd-numbered years beginning in 1857. A constitutional amendment was passed in 1883 requiring state elections to be held in even-numbered years beginning in 1886 with the winner for Attorney General in 1883 serving a three-year term. From 1886 through 1960, the term for Attorney General remained two years - increasing to four years in 1962. Primaries for Attorney General were first held in September 1912. There have never been term limits for this office.

Most recent elections

Date Office Stage Winners Details
11/06/2018 Attorney General General Keith M. Ellison (Democratic-Farmer-Labor) won with 1,249,407 votes (48.96%) and a winning margin of +3.88
Candidate Gender Party Votes Percent
Keith M. Ellison Man Democratic-Farmer-Labor 1,249,407 48.96
Doug Wardlow Man Republican 1,150,459 45.08
Noah Johnson Man Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis 145,748 5.71
Scattering Write-In 5,375 0.21
Tom Foley Man Write-In 771 0.03
Bennett Martin Sukalski Man Write-In 12 0.00

This was the most competitive election for the office since 1970 when DFLer Warren Spannaus won an open seat race against Robert Forsythe by 2.72 points.

Ellison was a six-term U.S. Representative (CD 05, 2007-2019) and Deputy Chair of the Democratic National Committee (2017-2018).

Wardlow was an attorney from Eagan and former state Representative (HD 38B, 2011-2013).

Johnson was a Minneapolis attorney.

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08/14/2018 Attorney General Primary Keith M. Ellison (Democratic-Farmer-Labor) won with 281,142 votes (49.81%) and a winning margin of +30.67
Candidate Gender Party Votes Percent
Keith M. Ellison Man Democratic-Farmer-Labor 281,142 49.81
Debra Hilstrom Woman Democratic-Farmer-Labor 108,048 19.14
Tom Foley Man Democratic-Farmer-Labor 70,786 12.54
Matt Pelikan Man Democratic-Farmer-Labor 59,876 10.61
Mike Rothman Man Democratic-Farmer-Labor 44,522 7.89

Ellison was a six-term U.S. Representative (CD 05, 2007-2019) and Deputy Chair of the Democratic National Committee (2017-2018).

Histrom was a state Representative (HD 47B, 2001-2003; HD 46B, 2003-2013; HD 40B, 2013-2019).

Foley was an attorney from St. Paul, former Ramsey County Attorney (1979-1994), DFL candidate for U.S. Senate in 1994 and Lieutenant Governor in 1998, and Independence Party nominee for the 4th CD in 2000.

Pelikan was an attorney from Northfield and received the DFL endorsement.

Rothman was a former state Commerce Commissioner (2011-2017).

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08/14/2018 Attorney General Primary Doug Wardlow (Republican) won with 135,971 votes (46.26%) and a winning margin of +14.20
Candidate Gender Party Votes Percent
Doug Wardlow Man Republican 135,971 46.26
Sharon L. Anderson Woman Republican 94,245 32.06
Robert B. (Bob) Lessard Man Republican 63,722 21.68

Wardlow was an attorney from Eagan and former state Representative (HD 38B, 2011-2013).

Anderson was a resident of St. Paul. This was her 10th failed attempt to become the state attorney general, also losing the Independent-Republican primaries of 1982, 1986, and 1990, the 1994 general election, and the 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, and 2014 Republican primaries.

Lessard was a former state Senator (SD 03, 1977-2003).

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11/04/2014 Attorney General General Lori Swanson (Democratic-Farmer-Labor) won with 1,014,714 votes (52.60%) and a winning margin of +13.59
Candidate Gender Party Votes Percent
Lori Swanson Incumbent Woman Democratic-Farmer-Labor 1,014,714 52.60
Scott Newman Man Republican 752,543 39.01
Dan R. Vacek Man Legal Marijuana Now 57,604 2.99
Brandan Borgos Man Independence 44,613 2.31
Mary O'Connor Woman Libertarian 30,008 1.56
Andy Dawkins Man Green 28,748 1.49
Scattering Write-In 750 0.04

This was the first election for state attorney general featuring two female nominees. It was also the first race with six candidates. Attorney General Swanson was reelected to a third term.

Newman was an attorney from Hutchinson and state Senator (SD 18, 2011-) and former state Representative (HD 18A, 2004-2007).

Vacek was a Ramsey County financial assistance worker.

Borgos was a Minneapolis attorney.

O'Connor was a resident of Brooklyn Center, the state Libertarian Party Treasurer, and a former member of the Brooklyn Center City Council.

Dawkins was an attorney from St. Paul and a former state Representative (HD 65A, 1987-2003).

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08/12/2014 Attorney General Primary Brandan Borgos (Independence) won with 5,632 votes (100.00%) and a winning margin of +100.00
Candidate Gender Party Votes Percent
Brandan Borgos Man Independence 5,632 100.00

Borgos was a Minneapolis attorney.

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