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The Latest: Ellison to appeal order unsealing divorce record

October 12, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Latest on Minnesota’s attorney general race (all times local):

2 p.m.

An attorney for Minnesota Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison says Ellison will appeal a court referee’s order to unseal his divorce record.

A Hennepin County family court referee on Friday granted media organizations’ request to unseal the file following a domestic abuse allegation by Ellison’s former girlfriend. Ellison has denied that allegation, and said there’s nothing in his divorce file relevant to it.

The referee, Jason Hutchison, ruled that Ellison and his ex-wife Kim have no greater expectation of privacy than other citizens whose records are public. Hutchison set next Wednesday to unseal the record.

Ellison is running for attorney general against Republican Doug Wardlow. His attorney, Carla Kjellberg, said both Keith and Kim Ellison oppose “this effort to exploit the details of their personal life” for political gain.

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12:55 p.m.

A Minnesota court referee has granted a media request to unseal Rep. Keith Ellison’s divorce file.

Hennepin County Family Court referee Jason Hutchison ruled Friday that the file would be made public next Wednesday. Hutchison rejected objections from Ellison and his former wife, Kim Ellison, ruling that they had no greater expectation of privacy than other citizens whose files are public.

Ellison is a Democrat running for attorney general. He has come under pressure over a domestic abuse allegation from a former girlfriend who said he dragged her off a bed. Ellison has denied the allegation. His attorney had suggested that Hutchison not unseal the entire file but only make public any abuse allegations in it.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune and Alpha News, a right-leaning online news site, had argued to open the file.

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11:07 a.m.

Republican Minnesota Attorney General candidate Doug Wardlow says he’d fire all Democratic attorneys working in the office and replace them with Republicans if he wins.

Minnesota Public Radio News reported Wardlow’s remarks during a private fundraiser hosted this week. The radio station obtained a recording of the remarks from a Democratic-Farmer-Labor staffer attending the event.

Wardlow’s promise comes despite his vow that he wouldn’t be a partisan attorney general and his frequent criticism that opponent Keith Ellison is politically motivated. A Wardlow campaign spokesman says he wouldn’t apply a litmus test to employees.

The two candidates are locked in an unusually close race for an office that Democrats have easily held for five decades. Ellison has been dogged by an allegation of physical abuse from an ex-girlfriend, which Ellison denies.

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