On Friday night at the DFL Convention in Rochester Attorney General candidate Matt Pelikan (DFL-MN) supporters were openly discussing the possibility of Attorney General Lori Swanson (DFL-MN) filing for Governor instead of AG. During the nominations process Swanson was caught off of the floor and did not give her prepared speech, instead, former Attorney General Mike Hatch (DFL-MN) filing in ripping on Pelikan’s lack of courtroom experience. After the snub by Swanson, the DFL delegates returned their own message denying Swanson the endorsement on the first ballot 52.2% for Swanson and 47.2 Pelikan. To which Swanson summarily withdrew.

This led to Swanson’s announcement with Congressman Rick Nolan (D-MN08) of her bid for Governor creating another challenger to Rep Erin Murphy (DFL-64A, St Paul) along with Congressman Tim Walz (D-MN01) and started the Domino Effect or rather the Pelikan Effect down the ballot.

The Swanson filing opened the floodgates and resulted in Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN05, Minneapolis), former Ramsey County Attorney Tom Foley DFL-MN), former Attorney General Mike Hatch (DFL-MN), Rep Debra Hilstrom (DFL-40B, Brooklyn Center), DFL Endorsed candidate Matt Pelikan and former Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman (DFL-MN) filings. Hatch has stated he was filing as a placeholder and mentioned both Hilstrom and Rothman as two of the four candidates he could support and we’re expecting his withdrawal and endorsement of Hilsman. We will be watching this race closely and wonder if the rumor of Ellison having his own #MeToo issues will materialize.

The Ellison choice created its own cattle call for the Congressional seat. Resulting in a field of six candidates with name recognition, former House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher (DFL-Minneapolis), Sen Bobby Joe Champion (DFL-59, Minneapolis), Minneapolis Schoolboard member and ex-wife Kim Ellison (DFL), Rep Ilhan Omar (DFL-60B, Minneapolis), former Senator, Lt Governor candidate and daughter of former Congressman Martin Sabo,  Julie Sabo and Sen Patricia Torres Ray (DFL-63, Minneapolis) and two little known candidates Jamal Abdi Abdulahi (DFL) and Frank Nelson Drake (DFL). One thing is clear the seat will remain in Democratic hands.

Senators Champion and Torres Ray and Ellison have the luxury of running in mid-term of their current offices and hence will retain their seats if unsuccessful. Omar made the big sacrifice and gave up her legislative seat. Which also resulted in nine DFL filers for the House seat. Yusra Arab (DFL), Mohammadkheir (Mo) Gaba (DFL), Angelo Jaramillo (DFL), Mary Mellen (DFL), Mohamud Noor (DFL), Haaris Pasha (DFL), Cordelia Pierson (DFL), Joshua Preston (DFL) and Peter Wagenius (DFL).

A significant factor in this election is whether or not the DFL can regain the Majority in the State House and the races up the ballot influenced the situation because four incumbent House members gave up their seats. Three are in largely safe DFL Districts and will likely return DFLers to the seats, 40B (Hilstrom), 60B (Omar) and 64A (Murphy), but House District 57A being vacated by Rep Erin Maye Quade in her Lt Governor bid may prove to be a loss for the DFL. In 40B Alexander Koenig, Samantha Vang and Cindy Yang filed on the DFL side. In 57A DFLers Robert BiermanJake CassidyLinda Garrett-JohnsonKyle Koch
and Roxanne B Mindeman have a ten-week campaign to sort it out. In 64A, Kaohly Her is poised to replace Murphy.

The Pelikan Effect will either prove to be a positive influence, or more likely a negative one if Murphy fails to prevail, Julie Blaha falls to Jon Tollefson and Pelikan himself loses.