Business lawyer Jim Schultz won the Republican primary Tuesday to take on Democratic Attorney General Keith Ellison.
Schultz beat Doug Wardlow, who narrowly lost to Ellison in 2018. Schultz received 52.51% percent of the vote, and Wardlow received 34.77%. Ellison easily beat perennial candidate Bill Dahn in Tuesday’s Democratic primary. The November election is expected to turn on views about public safety and abortion.
In the Hennepin county attorney race, Mary Moriarty, the county’s former chief public defender, led the field of seven candidates with 36.36% of the vote. Retired Hennepin County Judge Martha Holton Dimick was second with 17.89% of the vote. Moriarty and Dimick will advance to the general election in November. The winner will succeed retiring County Attorney Mike Freeman.
Other county attorney candidates were Minnesota House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler (16.29%); former Hennepin County commissioner and former judge Tad Jude (10.58%); former Minneapolis City Council member and current assistant county attorney in Anoka Paul Ostrow (8.46%); assistant Ramsey County attorney Saraswati Singh (7.16%); and longtime lawyer Jarvis Jones (3.26%).
In the attorney general race, Schultz told the Associated Press he won by delivering a message that residents want to feel safe and deserve better than the “incredibly reckless” policies that Ellison has embraced on policing.
“People desperately want someone who can beat Keith Ellison,” Schultz said.
Republicans have spent months attacking Ellison and Gov. Tim Walz on public safety after crime rose in Minneapolis in 2020 and 2021, as in other major cities across the U.S. While homicides are down in Minneapolis so far this year, assaults and burglaries are rising.
Wardlow challenged Schultz against the wishes of his own party. Schultz won the Republican Party’s endorsement, but Wardlow dismissed “elites” atop the party.
Wardlow is general counsel at MyPillow and an ally of its founder, Mike Lindell, a leading booster of false claims that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.