Foley registers as AG write-in, insists he’s not active candidate

Former Ramsey County Attorney Tom Foley registered this week as a write-in candidate for attorney general, although he said it’s short of a full-fledged effort to win the office as an alternate candidate.

Foley, who ran in the DFL’s primary in August, said friends have said they want to vote for him in the Nov. 6 election, and his move this week allows those votes to be counted. Foley insists that he is not launching an active write-in campaign against DFL candidate Keith Ellison and Republican Doug Wardlow.

“I’m not campaigning. I’m not going out asking people to vote for me as a write-in candidate," he told MPR News on Wednesday. "But if those people who want to vote for me do vote for me, they wanted to know that the vote would be counted.”

Voters can write in any eligible candidate for any office. Only those attached to a registered write-in are officially tabulated for the candidate while the rest are counted generically. Write-in candidates must register by Oct. 30 this year.

Foley finished third in the five-candidate primary field with nearly 13 percent of the vote.

Noah Johnson of the Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis party is also on the ballot with Ellison and Wardlow. But Johnson recently threw his support to Ellison.

Foley said he is comfortable with the possibility of being a factor in what could be a narrowly decided election.

“I’d probably get votes from both sides, not just Democratic votes” he said. “I’d probably get Republican votes as well.”

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