A conservative super PAC launched an ad campaign on Monday that uses domestic abuse allegations against Representative Keith Ellison, the Democratic nominee for attorney general in Minnesota, to attack other members of his party running for office in the state.
The ad, titled “Ashamed,” has been tailored to target several Democrats running for the House of Representatives and chastises them for not calling on Mr. Ellison, who is also the deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee, to drop out of the race.
“Joe Radinovich is standing by Keith Ellison,” says one version of the ad, edited to focus on Mr. Radinovich, a former state representative running in Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District. “Backing Ellison instead of believing his victim? Joe Radinovich should be ashamed.”
Other versions of the ad focus on Dean Phillips, Angie Craig and Dan Feehan, all hoping to become first-time members of Congress. None of the four candidates responded to requests for comment on Monday.
The ad campaign was released by the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC endorsed by the House Republican leadership, and invokes the National Organization for Women, a left-leaning group that called for Mr. Ellison to exit the race after he won the Democratic primary last week.
Mr. Ellison was accused of physical and emotional abuse earlier this month by a former girlfriend, Karen Monahan, an organizer at the Minnesota chapter of the Sierra Club. The allegation was first made public by Ms. Monahan’s son, who wrote about it on Facebook.
Ms. Monahan told The Times earlier this month that she suffered “narcissist abuse” during a yearslong relationship with Mr. Ellison, including verbal abuse and being dragged off a bed.
“It is the most difficult form of abuse to articulate,” Ms. Monahan, 44, wrote in an email to The Times. “It is a slow insidious form of abuse. You don’t realize it is happening until it’s too late.”
Mr. Ellison did not respond to a request for comment on Monday, but he has denied Ms. Monahan’s allegations in the past. “Karen and I were in a long-term relationship which ended in 2016, and I still care deeply for her well-being,” Mr. Ellison said in a statement after the allegations became public.
In an interview with CBS News last week, Ms. Monahan said Mr. Ellison met her at a coffee shop before he decided to run for attorney general to ask if she was going to make an abuse allegation against him.
“The conversation went straight to, ‘Hey, I notice you’ve been tweeting a lot about abuse and the #MeToo,” she said, referring to the #MeToo movement. “He goes, ‘I don’t want to look over my shoulder all the time wondering when you’re going to tweet something and say it’s me.”
“I look straight at him and said, ‘I never ruined your career,’” she said. “I didn’t choose to do the things you did.”