Doug Wardlow, the lawyer for MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, has announced his intention to run again to become Minnesota’s attorney general.
Wardlow, a Republican, ran against the state’s current attorney general, Democrat Keith Ellison, for the same office in 2018 and lost by 98,948 votes, a margin of less than four percent.
In Wardlow’s campaign announcement video, released Wednesday, he targets Ellison as tolerating increased lawlessness and unfairly enforcing the governor’s “tyrannical” COVID-19 restrictions on small businesses.
Comparatively, Wardlow says he will “defend law enforcement” and defend “constitutional liberties, including your right to bear arms and defend yourself.”
In the video, Wardlow criticizes Ellison for endorsing the state’s Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar, a supporter of the “defund the police” movement.
Ellison told a HuffPost reporter last June that he doesn’t support the movement, even though he does support police reform. In a July 2020 interview with Progressive.org, Ellison said he thinks people mischaracterize the “defund the police” slogan in order to discredit police reformers and social justice activists. He has said there’s a need for government officials to understand how to maintain peace without abusing human rights.
“I think what [the police reform movement is] saying is, ‘Do you really need four guys with guns to investigate a fake $20 bill? Is that what we need?'” Ellison said, referring to the four police officers who killed Black Minneapolis resident George Floyd.
Wardlow’s video also accuses Ellison of presiding over a rise of crime throughout the state.
The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) says that state attorney generals operate as the state’s legal representative in court—predominantly handling environmental, civil and only “serious statewide criminal prosecutions”—rather than lowering crime rates statewide, a role which often falls to legislators and police officials.
Newsweek reached out to Wardlow’s campaign for comment.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.