ST. PAUL, Minn. – Attorney General Lori Swanson is expected to announce a last-minute bid for governor following an unexpected upset at the 2018 DFL State Convention.
The Associated Press has received information from two Democratic political operatives close to Swanson that the attorney general is planning to abandon her re-election campaign and instead jump into the governor’s race.
Swanson has reportedly asked U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan, who was set to retire this year, to be her running mate.
This sudden change of plans comes after Swanson failed to secure the DFL endorsement in her re-election campaign this weekend. After failing to win 60 percent of the vote on the first ballot, Swanson withdrew her name from the DFL endorsement.
Following Swanson’s withdrawal, Matt Pelikan was endorsed by voice vote. Pelikan has campaigned to the left of Swanson, saying Swanson has been too cautious as attorney general.
At the time, there was some speculation that Swanson would challenge Pelikan in the primary. However, it now appears Swanson is deserting the race for attorney general all together.
The governor’s race is not without drama. During this past weekend’s convention, Minnesota DFLers endured seven rounds of balloting before endorsing state Rep. Erin Murphy for governor. Gubernatorial candidate U.S. Rep. Tim Walz is expected to challenge Murphy in the primary despite losing the endorsement.
Swanson entrance to the governor’s race would leave the DFL divided between three candidates going into the primary.
In a press conference Monday afternoon, Swanson officially announced her candidacy for governor, confirming the speculation. Nolan will be her running mate.