Clark joins DFL contest for MN attorney general

St. Paul city attorney Sam Clark is now a DFL candidate for Minnesota attorney general. Tim Pugmire|MPR News

The 2018 race for Minnesota attorney general gained another candidate Thursday when St. Paul city attorney Sam Clark launched his campaign.

Clark, a Democrat, said during a state Capitol news conference that he wants to be the “next great progressive” to hold the office. If successful, he would also be the first person of color.

“I think it’s important that someone is the first, and very soon,” Clark said.

Clark has been St. Paul city attorney since 2015. He previously worked for U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar. As attorney general, Clark said he would be a fighter.

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“Now more than ever the people of Minnesota need an attorney general who will take on their fights, to really stand up for them.” He said. “To stand up to the corporate bad actors who seek to prey on seniors and the most vulnerable. To stand up to the racists, the homophobes and the misogynists.”

Clark said he will seek the DFL endorsement and abide by the result. Clark is the fifth Democrat in the race, joining state Rep. Debra Hilstrom, Matthew Pelikan, Mike Rothman and Ryan Winkler. Incumbent Lori Swanson has not announced if she'll seek reelection or run for governor.

Doug Wardlow is the lone Republican in the race.

Clark was joined by several of his key supporters, including Ramsey County Attorney John Choi, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, Minneapolis city attorney Susan Segal and former U.S attorney Andy Luger.

Freeman said Clark is ready for the challenge.

“Sam understands that the job of the attorney general is not merely representing the state agencies and doing civil lawsuits on consumer protection, but caring about the criminal justice system and supplying support, particularly in greater Minnesota,” Freeman said.