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Third party AG candidate throws support to DFLer Ellison

Noah Johnson, the Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis candidate for Minnesota attorney general, said Monday he is endorsing DFL candidate Keith Ellison in the statewide race.

Johnson said he doesn’t want to draw votes away from Ellison to the benefit of Republican candidate Doug Wardlow.

“I was concerned about splitting the vote, that my presence of the ballot would have a detrimental effect to Mr. Ellison, who’s clearly the right choice over Mr. Wardlow,” Johnson said.

Last month’s MPR News/Star Tribune Minnesota Poll showed Ellison leading Wardlow, 41 percent to 36 percent. Johnson received 5 percent and 18 percent were undecided.

Johnson said his endorsement is also based on Ellison’s support of legalized marijuana.

“I think it is a big step that a nationally prominent Democratic politician has decided to endorse the cause,” he said.

Ellison said he was honored to receive Johnson’s endorsement.

"We should legalize marijuana and enact restorative justice for nonviolent offenders," Ellison said.

Wardlow's campaign manager, Billy Grant, questioned why Johnson would make an endorsement, given the domestic abuse allegation against Ellison by an ex-girlfriend. Ellison has repeatedly denied the allegation.

"This endorsement shows that Keith Ellison’s campaign is seriously worried about their growing lack of support among left-leaning voters,”  Grant said.

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