Minnesota Attorney General-elect Keith Ellison announced a 36-member transition advisory board on Monday that includes state legislators, prominent attorneys, union members -- and even a past political opponent.
The transition team will help Ellison prepare to take over the role of the state's top attorney, including recruitment, community engagement and the office's budget. The board will be chaired by Richard Allyn, a former deputy attorney general, and Sarah Catherine Walker, a lobbyist and founder of criminal justice nonprofit the Minnesota Second Chance Coalition. Members will include state Sen. Bobby Joe Champion, state Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn, Eric Magnuson, former chief justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, and Matt Pelikan, the DFL-endorsed candidate for attorney general who Ellison beat in the August primary.
“We are hitting the ground running,” Ellison said in a statement announcing the transition team. “I could not be more thankful that this terrific set of people from all walks of life and regions of Minnesota have agreed to advise, support, and challenge me as I prepare to become the People’s Lawyer."
Ellison is taking over the office from current DFL Attorney General Lori Swanson, who has held the role since 2007. He said she has also given him counsel on transitioning the office.
Here's the full list of board members:
Richard Allyn, former Minnesota Chief Deputy Attorney General and Solicitor General; partner, Robins Kaplan; Transition Advisory Committee co-chair, Recruitment subcommittee chair
Sarah Catherine Walker, government-affairs consultant; founder, Minnesota Second Chance Coalition; Transition Advisory Committee co-chair, Community Engagement subcommittee chair, Recruitment committee member
Jamie Becker-Finn, Minnesota State Representative, District 42B
Bobby Joe Champion, Minnesota State Senator, District 59
John Choi, Ramsey County Attorney; former Saint Paul City Attorney
Phil Duran, legal director for healthcare access, JustUs Health; past president, Minnesota State Bar Association
Brian Elliott, executive director, SEIU Minnesota State Council
Emma Greenman, director of voting rights and democracy, Center for Popular Democracy and Center for Popular Democracy Action
Alberder Gillespie, management consultant; board member, Common Cause Minnesota; chair, Black Civic Network
Foung Hawj, Minnesota State Senator, District 67
Beverly Jones Heydinger, former Minnesota Deputy Attorney General; former chair, Minnesota Public Utilities Commission
Molly Hicken, Cook County Attorney, Grand Marais
Hudda Ibrahim, author, speaker, consultant; faculty, St. Cloud Technical and Community College
Burt Johnson, attorney, North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters
Carla Kjellberg, private-practice attorney
Andrea Ledger, executive director, NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota
Eric Magnuson, former Chief Justice, Minnesota Supreme Court; partner, Robins Kaplan
David McKinney, staff attorney, ACLU of Minnesota
Carly Melin, executive director, Minnesota State Building and Construction Trades Council; former State Representative, District 6A
Veronica Mendez Moore, co-director, Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha
Carin Mrotz, executive director, Jewish Community Action
Lyndsey Olson, Saint Paul City Attorney
Gail M. Olson, former Minnesota Deputy Attorney General; former general counsel, Minnesota State Colleges and University System
Lori Bergland Olson, farmer, Thief River Falls
Pete Orput, Washington County Attorney
Matt Pelikan, of counsel, Madel PA; 2018 candidate for Minnesota Attorney General
Ivan Porga, manager, Be the Change: Leadership on Purpose, Worthington
Rose Roach, executive director, Minnesota Nurses Association
Lee Sheehy, former Minnesota Chief Deputy Attorney General
Denise Specht, president, Education Minnesota
Luchelle Stevens, Gulf War veteran and community organizer, Golden Valley
Lola Velazquez-Aguilu, former Assistant U.S. Attorney; legal counsel, Medtronic
Jonathan Weinhagen, president and CEO, Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce
Ted Winter, president, Rock & Nobles County Farmers Union; board member, Minnesota Farmers Union; former Minnesota State Representative, Districts 22A and 28A, former Minnesota House Majority Leader
Emilia Gonzalez Avalos, executive director, NAVIGATE/Unidos MN
Julio Zelaya, coordinator, Greater Minnesota Racial Justice Project, ACLU of Minnesota
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