Politics Friday: Ellison describes the 'political fight' of his life

Attorney General-elect Keith Ellison poses for a portrait Friday.
Attorney General-elect Keith Ellison poses for a portrait Friday.
Tony Saunders | MPR News

Updated: 5:31 p.m. | Posted: 3:30 p.m.

Minnesota Attorney General-elect Keith Ellison plans to hold a series of listening sessions around the state to build trust with voters.

Ellison will become the state's first African-American constitutional officer, and the first Muslim to hold statewide office. The DFLer won a contentious race against Republican Doug Wardlow, which he described as the political fight of his life. Ellison said he now wants to hear from Minnesotans.

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"Voters don't know what kind of AG I'm going to be," said Ellison during a conversation on MPR News. "They know what I've promised and they know what my history says and so they're giving me a chance. I'm going to make them happy they chose me by doing the best job I can possibly do. But I understand that trust has to be rebuilt, earned, deepened, strengthened, even for the people that trust me, they're still like, 'what have you done for me lately?'"

Ellison's first listening session will be Dec. 4 in Duluth, followed by sessions in Moorhead, Detroit Lakes, Rochester and Mankato.

He said his first priorities as Attorney General are tackling high drug prices and enforcing the Women's Economic Security Act. He said he also wants to make sure that rural residents have access to health care, transportation and broadband.

Many other Minnesotans elected to new offices last week are getting ready for their new jobs. We heard from several of them about how the transition is going and their plans once they take office.

• Later in the show, we heard from Governor-elect Tim Walz and the incoming 1st District congressional representative Jim Hagedorn.

• Finally, MPR News reporters Brian Bakst and Briana Bierschbach joined the program to talk about the week in Minnesota politics and look ahead to what comes next.

Hear the show by using the audio player above.