Endorsement: Jim Schultz is the right choice for Minnesota attorney general
Republican Schultz's campaign focus has been public safety, economic prosperity, the Constitution and consumer protection. He continually promises to address the state’s violent crime trend by expanding the Attorney General Office’s criminal division. He also has the endorsement of nearly two dozen county sheriffs and the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association.
The Minnesota attorney general race is expected to be the closest statewide race on Nov. 8. Most recent polls note a near-deadlocked race within the margin of error, while some national political observers have called Keith Ellison “Minnesota’s most vulnerable progressive” in 2022.
A fifth-generation Minnesotan from Stearns County, Jim Schultz is the Republican challenger seeking the Attorney General's Office. A Harvard Law School graduate, Schultz has practiced law in the private sector, working for two prominent law firms and a Minnesota company specializing in business, regulatory and compliance law.
His campaign focus has been public safety, economic prosperity, the Constitution and consumer protection. He continually promises to address the state’s violent crime trend — which has risen each year since 2019 — by expanding the Attorney General Office’s criminal division. He also has the endorsement of nearly two dozen county sheriffs and the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association.
Schultz, 37, promises to change the Attorney General’s Office’s hostile approach toward small business and energy, and also its failure to fight fraud. He strongly supports Main Street businesses across the state.
While Schultz has declined recently to state the 2020 election was fair, he has not called it “stolen.” He believes “Joe Biden is the president. He’s the legitimate president,” he said in an interview. Schultz is a strong candidate who is disciplined and stays on message. His weaknesses are being severely out-fundraised by his opponent and lack of name recognition.
Ellison, 59, is seeking a second four-year term. However, he has spent too much time focusing on fighting Minnesota’s businesses. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Ellison has pursued legal action and fines against rural Main Street businesses seeking to survive and keep their employees working. At the same, the state allowed big box store franchises to remain open.
The attorney general also has joined the effort against the fossil fuel industry, seeking climate-change damages, which could impact the Midwest economy.
And Ellison has not been aggressive enough in fighting the violent crime increase of recent years.
While Ellison helped prosecute the officers involved in George Floyd’s murder, he also backed the Minneapolis ballot referendum calling for the replacement of the city’s police department. He has also been criticized for his prosecution of former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter for manslaughter after she fatally shot Daunte Wright during a traffic stop in 2021 after yelling “Taser.”
The incumbent attorney general points to his prosecution of 40 criminal cases for local jurisdictions while pointing out Schultz has not practiced in criminal law. His critics, in turn, point to Ellison’s litigation record focusing on progressive topics from climate change to abortion rights and opioids, all the while Minnesota's violent crime rate continues rising. Democratic state officers, including Ellison, have also been criticized for failing to stop the misuse of federal funds in the ongoing Feeding Our Future nonprofit fraud case.
The voter’s choice on Nov. 8 will be the state’s top legal officer responsible for representing the state and its agencies in lawsuits; assisting jurisdictions within the state facing resource challenges in prosecuting serious crimes; enforcing consumer protection and antitrust laws; and regulating charities. It is a critical choice for 2023 and beyond.
Schultz is the better choice for Minnesota’s Attorney General office to fight violent crime, support state businesses, fight for consumers and support law enforcement. He deserves Minnesotans’ vote on Nov. 8.
This endorsement represents the opinion of Forum Communications Co. management.